Cynthia Nixon will host this year’s National Book Awards

Cynthia Nixon
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Cynthia Nixon, the activist and actress who won an Emmy Award for her role as Miranda Hobbes in the hit HBO series “Sex and the City,” will host this year’s National Book Awards.

The National Book Foundation, which presents the yearly literary awards, made the announcement in a release Tuesday.

The ceremony will be held Nov. 15 at Cipriani Wall Street, an Italian restaurant in New York’s Financial District.


The National Book Awards, considered among most prestigious in American literature, were first given out in 1936. This year’s finalists were revealed earlier this month, and include Jesmyn Ward, Carmen Maria Machado, Masha Gessen and Danez Smith.

Nixon, whose long career as an actress began with an after-school special in 1979 when she was 12, is no stranger to the literary world. She has starred in film adaptations of the novels “I Am the Cheese” and “The Pelican Brief,” and recently portrayed Emily Dickinson in the 2016 movie “A Quiet Passion.”

She is also an activist for LGBTQ equality and breast cancer awareness. Rumors have circulated that she is considering a run for governor of New York next year; she has declined to deny her interest in a possible gubernatorial bid.

The National Book Awards have recently been hosted by celebrities from both inside and outside the literary world. Last year’s ceremony was hosted by comedian Larry Wilmore, and author Daniel Handler, better known by his pen name Lemony Snicket, did the honors in 2014.

The finalists for this year’s awards are:


“Dark at the Crossing” by Elliot Ackerman (Knopf)

“The Leavers” by Lisa Ko (Algonquin Books)

“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central Publishing)

“Her Body and Other Parties: Stories” by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press)

“Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)


“Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge” by Erica Armstrong Dunbar (37 Ink)


“The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America” by Frances FitzGerald (Simon & Schuster)

“The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia” by Masha Gessen (Riverhead)

“Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Grann (Doubleday)

“Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America” by Nancy MacLean (Viking)


“Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016” by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

“The Book of Endings” by Leslie Harrison (University of Akron Press)

“Whereas” by Layli Long Soldier (Graywolf Press)

“In the Language of My Captor” by Shane McCrae (Wesleyan University Press)

“Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems” by Danez Smith (Graywolf Press)


“What Girls Are Made Of” by Elana K. Arnold (Carolrhoda Lab)

“Far From the Tree” by Robin Benway (HarperTeen)

“I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” by Erika L. Sánchez (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)

“Clayton Byrd Goes Underground” by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad)

“American Street” by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer + Bray)