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Jerald Walker's (English BA 1993) book, How to Make a Slave and Other Essays, named a 2020 National Book Awards finalist

Oct 06, 2020
How to Make a Slave and other Essays (book cover)

Books about race and the struggle for equality feature prominently among the finalists for the National Book Awards announced Tuesday. The 25 honored titles include a satire of Hollywood’s Asian American stereotypes, a history of the forced relocation of Native Americans, a biography of Malcolm X and a YA novel about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Selected from almost 1,700 submissions in five categories — fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people’s literature and translated literature — the finalists are a strikingly fresh group: None of the authors has been a finalist for a National Book Award before, and almost a third are debuts. One of those debut authors, Scottish American writer Douglas Stuart, has impressed judges on both sides of the Atlantic. Stuart’s novel, “Shuggie Bain,” about a family in Glasgow, is now a finalist for a National Book Award, a Kirkus Prize and the Booker Prize.