February 8, 2018—Graywolf is thrilled to congratulate Edwidge Danticat and Kapka Kassabova, finalists for the 2017 NBCC AwardsErika L. Sanchez and Han Yujoo, finalists for the PEN America Literary AwardsKevin Young and Layli Long Soldier, both finalists for the 2017 NBCC Awards and the PEN America Literary Awards; and Carmen Maria Machado, finalist for the PEN America Literary Awards, and winner of the NBCC James Leonard Prize.


The winners of the PEN America Literary Awards will be announced on February 20th, 2018, at the NYU Skirball Center in New York City. The winners of the remaining 2017 NBCC Awards will be announced on March 15, 2018, at the New School in New York City.


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Edwidge Danticat’s The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story is at once a personal account of her mother dying from cancer and a deeply considered reckoning with the ways that other writers have approached death in their own work. The book moves outward from the shock of her mother’s diagnosis and sifts through Danticat’s writing life and personal history, all the while shifting fluidly between examples that range from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude to Toni Morrison’s Sula. This is a moving work of astute criticism. The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story is a finalist for the 2017 NBCC Award for Criticism.




In Border, an extraordinary work of narrative reportage, Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, where she emigrated from twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. This is a scintillating, immersive travel narrative that is also a shadow history of the Cold War, a sideways look at the migration crisis troubling Europe, and a deep, witchy descent into interior and exterior geographies. Border is a finalist for the 2017 NBCC Award for Nonfiction.







In Her Body and Other Parties,Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. Her Body and Other Parties is the winner of the 2017 NBCC John Leonard prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.








Erika L. Sánchez’s powerful debut, Lessons on Expulsion, explores what it means to live on both sides of the border—the border between countries, languages, despair and possibility, and the living and the dead. Sánchez tells her own story as the daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants and as part of a family steeped in faith, work, grief, and expectations. Lessons on Expulsion is a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award.










In WHEREASLayli Long Soldier confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. WHEREAS is a finalist for the 2017 NBCC Award for Poetry and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award.







Han Yujoo’s The Impossible Fairy Tale is the story of two unexceptional grade-school girls. Their fellow students seem consumed by an almost murderous rage, and the society the children create on their own is marked by cruelty and soul-crushing hierarchies. This is a fresh and terrifying exploration of the ethics of art-making and of the stinging consequences of neglect. The Impossible Fairy Tale is a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize.







In Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake Newsaward-winning poet and critic Kevin Young traces the history of the hoax as a peculiarly American phenomenon—beginning with the legacy of P.T. Barnum’s “humbug” culminating with the currency of Donald J. Trump’s “fake news.” Disturbingly, Young finds that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion, with race being the most insidious American hoax of all. Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News is a finalist for the 2017 NBCC Award for Criticism and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award.