Meet your National Book Award Finalists

As announced this afternoon by John Grisham, of all people:

E.L. Doctorow, The March (Random House)
Mary Gaitskill, Veronica (Pantheon)
Christopher Sorrentino, Trance (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
René Steinke, Holy Skirts (William Morrow)
William T. Vollmann, Europe Central (Viking)

Alan Burdick, Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Leo Damrosch, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius (Houghton Mifflin)
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking (Alfred A. Knopf)
Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers (Times Books)
Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves (Houghton Mifflin)

John Ashbery, Where Shall I Wander (Ecco)
Frank Bidart, Star Dust: Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Brendan Galvin, Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2005 (Louisiana State University Press)
W.S. Merwin, Migration: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press)
Vern Rutsala, The Moment’s Equation (Ashland Poetry Press)

Young People’s Literature
Jeanne Birdsall, The Penderwicks (Alfred A. Knopf)
Adele Griffin, Where I Want to Be (Putnam)
Chris Lynch, Inexcusable (Atheneum)
Walter Dean Myers, Autobiography of My Dead Brother (HarperTempest)
Deborah Wiles, Each Little Bird That Sings (Harcourt)

Congratulations to all the nominees. And at least on the fiction side, the list looks to be just a wee less controversial than last year’s….