Jane Smiley on longlist for National Book Awards

By Hillel Italie, Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 17, 2014 at 6:20 p.m.



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NEW YORK (AP) — Novels by Marilynne Robinson, Jane Smiley and Richard Powers were among the 10 nominees announced Wednesday for the fiction longlist of the National Book Awards.

Authors cited range from Pulitzer Prize winners Robinson and Smiley to an Iraq war veteran, Phil Klay, to the leader of the band the Mountain Goats, John Darnielle. The list also includes a staff writer, Emily St. John Mandel, for the online literary magazine The Millions.

Robinson was nominated for "Lila," in which she returns to the Iowa setting of her Pulitzer Prize-winning "Gilead." Smiley's latest, "Some Luck," is also based in Iowa and is the first of a planned trilogy about a farm family. Richard Powers, winner of the National Book Award in 2006 for "The Echo Maker," was selected for "Orfeo," and Alameddine for "An Unnecessary Woman." Darnielle's "Wolf in White Van" is his first novel, but not the first book by a musician to gain notice from National Book Award judges. In 2010, Patti Smith won the nonfiction prize for her memoir "Just Kids."

Others chosen were Mandel's Dystopian novel "Station Eleven"; a pair of debut story collections, Klay's "Redeployment" and Molly Antopol's "The UnAmericans"; Anthony Doerr's World War II novel "All the Light We Cannot See" and Elizabeth McCracken's "Thunderstruck & Other Stories."

Wednesday's announcement by the National Book Foundation caps a week that included the release of longlists for young people's literature, poetry and nonfiction, with Walter Isaacson, Carl Hiaasen and Mark Strand among the authors selected. Each category will be narrated to five finalists on Oct. 15, and winners will be revealed at a Manhattan ceremony on November 19. Author Daniel Handler of "Lemony Snicket" fame will host.

The foundation, which presents the awards, has previously announced honorary prizes for science fiction-fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin and literacy advocate Kyle Zimmer.

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Hillel Italie

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