Established in 1950, and administered by the National Book Foundation, the National Book Award celebrates the best of American literature. The 2014 award-winner for fiction is Redeployment by Phil Klay. Klay, a U.S. Marine veteran who served in Iraq, tells the story of a soldier who faced horrible cruelty in combat and must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia.
The 2014 award-winning nonfiction book is Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos. Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Osnos shows how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as China dramatically changes.
The winner for Young People’s Literature is Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodsen. Woodsen, who has received a Newbery Honor and two Coretta Scott King Awards, uses verse to share her memories of growing up African American in the 1960s and 1970s in Greenville, South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York.
These 2014 National Book Award winners and the finalists listed below are available to borrow from the Lititz Public Library.
An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (Fiction)
A disaster upends the life of a solitary, aging, divorced and childless woman in Beirut whose life is focused on translating favorite books into Arabic.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Fiction)
A blind French girl’s path collides with a German boy in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Fiction)
A plague begins to spread among those who have come into contact with a famous actor who died onstage during a production of King Lear.
Lila by Marilynne Robinson (Fiction)
Abandoning her homeless existence to become a minister’s wife, a woman reflects on her life and tries to reconcile her past with her husband’s gentle Christian worldview.
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (Fiction)
A disfigured, interactive game designer is blamed when teen players take their imaginary adventure into the real world with tragic results.
Orfeo by Richard Powers (Fiction)
A composer hatches a plan to turn his collision with Homeland Security into a work of art that will reawaken his audience.
Some Luck by Jane Smiley (Fiction)
A farm family experiences the changes in America from 1920 through the early 1950s.
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast (Nonfiction)
Through witty cartoons, family photos, documents and narrative the author shares life-altering experiences surrounding the loss of her elderly parents.
No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal (Nonfiction)
The author uses dramatic personal narratives to illustrate years of American missteps and shows how intervention went wrong.
The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson (Nonfiction)
Biologist examines what makes human beings different from all other species.
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson (Nonfiction)
Tracing the history of computers back to 1853, the author illustrates how inventiveness and collaboration led to the digital revolution.
Second Childhood by Fanny Howe (Poetry)
Howe’s poetry is known for its lyricism, experimentation and commitment to social justice.
This Blue by Maureen N. McLane (Poetry)
McLane’s third collection celebrates nature and travel.
Threatened by Eliot Schrefer (Young Adult)
An orphan living in debt-slavery in Gabon joins a professor on a journey into the jungle.
Noggin by John Corey Whaley (Young Adult)
After his death, a teen’s head was removed and frozen for five years before being attached to another body.
Originally published on December 12, 2014 in the Lititz Record Express.