The National Book Foundation and the NYU Creative Writing Program present readings by each of the 2023 National Book Award Finalists.

Each year, the Finalists in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature gather the evening before the National Book Awards Ceremony to read excerpts from their honored works. The 2023 National Book Awards Finalist Reading will be hosted by Parul Sehgal, staff writer at The New Yorker.

The event will be presented in person at NYU Skirball and livestreamed. If you’re unable to attend in person, please register for the livestream on the National Book Foundation’s website.

Doors will open at 6:30pm, and the program will begin at 7:00pm EST.

To learn more about the 2023 National Book Awards Finalists and to support the year-round work of the National Book Foundation, please visit

Presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation and the NYU Creative Writing Program.

Update as of Monday, October 30: We’re so honored that Parul Sehgal will join us to host the 2023 Finalist Reading; unfortunately, Amber Ruffin can no longer join us due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict.

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Fiction Finalists:

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Chain-Gang All-Stars
Aaliyah Bilal, Temple Folk
Paul Harding, This Other Eden
Hanna Pylväinen, The End of Drum-Time
Justin Torres, Blackouts

Nonfiction Finalists:

Ned Blackhawk, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History
Cristina Rivera Garza, Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice
Christina Sharpe, Ordinary Notes
Raja Shehadeh, We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir
John Vaillant, Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World

Poetry Finalists:

John Lee Clark, How to Communicate
Craig Santos Perez, from unincorporated territory [åmot]
Evie Shockley, suddenly we
Brandon Som, Tripas
Monica Youn, From From

Translated Literature Finalists:

Bora Chung and translator Anton Hur, Cursed Bunny
David Diop and translator Sam Taylor, Beyond the Door of No Return
Stênio Gardel and translator Bruna Dantas Lobato, The Words That Remain
Pilar Quintana and translator Lisa Dillman, Abyss
Astrid Roemer and translator Lucy Scott, On a Woman’s Madness

Young People’s Literature Finalists:

Kenneth M. Cadow, Gather
Huda Fahmy, Huda F Cares?
Vashti Harrison, Big
Katherine Marsh, The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine
Dan Santat, A First Time for Everything

(Finalists will not appear in this order)


Parul Sehgal is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She was previously a book critic at the New York Times, where she also worked as a senior editor and columnist. She has won awards for her criticism from the New York Press Club, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Robert B. Silvers Foundation. She teaches in the graduate creative writing program at New York University.

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