National Book Award announces nonfiction longlist

The longlist for the 2014 National Book Award for nonfiction was revealed Wednesday morning.

The longlist is notable for its diversity of genres. It includes a memoir in graphic novel form (by Roz Chast), researched histories about World War II (by Nigel Harrison and Ronald C. Rosbottom), a book about contemporary China (by Evan Osnos) and a biography (by John Lahr).

But within hours, critics had pointed out that of the 10 books listed, nine are by men.

That imbalance was not reflected in two National Book Award categories announced earlier this week. The longlist for poetry and young people’s literature each have five books written by women and five by men.


2014 longlist for nonfiction is below:

Roz Chast, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” (Bloomsbury)

John Demos, “The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic” (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)

Anand Gopal, “No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes” (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Co.)

Nigel Hamilton, “The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Walter Isaacson, “The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution” (Simon & Schuster)

John Lahr, “Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh” (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Evan Osnos, “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


Ronald C. Rosbottom, “When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944" (Little, Brown and Co./Hachette Book Group)

Matthew Stewart, “Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic” (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Edward O. Wilson, “The Meaning of Human Existence” (Liveright Publishing Corp./ W.W. Norton & Co.)

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