NEW YORK — Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction last spring for his novel “The Sympathizer,” is now in the running for a nonfiction National Book Award.
Nguyen’s “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War” was among 10 books on the longlist announced Wednesday by the National Book Foundation, which presents the awards. Racism was the theme for several of the books, along with works on conservatism, inequality and the Attica prison uprising. None of the 10 authors cited, including Manisha Sinha for “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition” and Arlie Russell Hochschild for “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” has ever won the National Book Award or even appeared on the longlist.
Among others chosen were Adam Cohen for “Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck,” Andres Resendez for “The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America” and Heather Ann Thompson for “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.”
Also on the list were Andrew J. Bacevich for “America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History,” Patricia Bell-Scott for “The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice,” Cathy O’Neil for “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy” and Ibram X. Kendi “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.”
Five of the 10 books on the longlist were published by Penguin Random House.
The National Book Foundation, which presents the awards, has already unveiled longlists for poetry and young people’s literature. The fiction list is expected Thursday and shortlists of five in each of the four competitive categories will come out Oct. 13. Winners, each of whom receive $10,000, will be announced at a Manhattan dinner ceremony Nov. 16.