Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf and Helen Phillips’ The Need Longlisted for the National Book Award

Congratulations are in order for Marlon James and Helen Phillips, who were included on the National Book Award’s longlist in fiction today! Of the ten books in contention for the prize, James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf and Phillips’ The Need are the two that come from a speculative fiction tradition.

Here’s what the NBF had to say about these two works:

The Longlist includes two novels deeply rooted in the traditions of fantasy and speculative fiction. Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first installment of a trilogy from Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James, incorporates African mythology in an epic story about a lost boy and a cast of fantastical characters searching for the truth. In The Need, a genre-bending thriller and the fifth book by Helen Phillips, a paleobotanist makes impossible discoveries, is confronted by a disturbing intruder in her home, and begins to question the very foundations of reality and motherhood.

This year, the judges for fiction were Dorothy Allison, Ruth Dickey, Javier Ramirez, Danzy Senna, and Jeff VanderMeer. Finalists will be revealed on October 8, with winners announced on November 20 at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in NYC.

Congratulations to all the honorees!

  • Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleishman Is in Trouble
    Random House / Penguin Random House
  • Susan Choi, Trust Exercise
    Henry Holt & Company / Macmillan Publishers
  • Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Sabrina & Corina: Stories
    One World / Penguin Random House
  • Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House
  • Laila Lalami, The Other Americans
    Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House
  • Kimberly King Parsons, Black Light: Stories
    Vintage / Penguin Random House
  • Helen Phillips, The Need
    Simon & Schuster
  • Julia Phillips, Disappearing Earth
    Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House
  • Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
    Penguin Press / Penguin Random House
  • Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys
    Doubleday / Penguin Random House

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