Fiction longlist for the National Book Award includes Tayari Jones, Rebecca Makkai and Lauren Groff

Tayari Jones, Rebecca Makkai and Lauren Groff are all longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award infiction.
(Nina Subin / Ulf Andersen / Kristin Kozelsky)

The nominees for the National Book Award for Fiction were announced on Friday, with four debut writers joining six veteran authors on the 10-book longlist. Three books come from independent publishers: McSweeney’s, Soho Press and Graywolf.

The most familiar title is Tayari Jones’ “An American Marriage.” A novel about a falsely convicted man and his wife, it was selected by Oprah Winfrey as her book club pick in February.

Also on the list is Lauren Groff’s short story collection “Florida”; Groff was a National Book Award finalist in 2015 for her novel “Fates and Furies.”

Tommy Orange’s bestselling debut novel “There There,” about a group of contemporary Native Americans preparing for a powwow in Oakland, made the longlist this year. A second Native American author, Brandon Hobson, made the list with his novel “Where the Dead Sit Talking,” published by independent publisher Soho Press.


Published by Hogarth, Jennifer Clement’s “Gun Love,” about a young woman growing up poor in Florida, also made the longlist.

Debuts on the list include Jamel Brinkley with his short story collection “A Lucky Man” and two native Californians, Daniel Gumbiner for his novel “The Boatbuilder” and Nafissa Thompson-Spires for her short story collection “Heads of the Colored People.”

Two authors were honored for their books about death and dying. Sigrid Nunez earned a nomination for “The Friend,” about a woman who inherits her best friend’s dog after his death. And Rebecca Makkai was nominated for “The Great Believers,” which follows a group of friends affected by the AIDS crisis in 1980s Chicago.

The longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist of five books, which will be announced Oct. 10. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 14.


The full list of nominees is below.

“A Lucky Man,” Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf Press)

“Gun Love,” Jennifer Clement (Hogarth)

“Florida,” Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)


“The Boatbuilder,” Daniel Gumbiner (McSweeney’s)

“Where the Dead Sit Talking,” Brandon Hobson (Soho Press)

“An American Marriage,” Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)

“The Great Believers,” Rebecca Makkai (Viking Books)


“The Friend,” Sigrid Nunez (Riverhead Books)

“There There,” Tommy Orange (Alfred A. Knopf)

“Heads of the Colored People, " Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Atria Books / 37 INK)