The National Book Award long list of nominees for 2014 were announced Wednesday, and three books by Jewish writers were nominated.
In the nonfiction category, the graphic memoir “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant” by Roz Chast, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, and “The Innovators: How A Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution,” by Walter Isaacson, known for his best-selling biography of Steve Jobs, were nominated. In the fiction category, “The UnAmericans,” the debut short-story collection by Molly Antopol, was nominated.
Chast, 59, chronicled the last years of her parents’ lives in “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant,” which was published in May by Bloomsbury. Chast has been producing cartoons for the New Yorker since 1978 and has written or illustrated over a dozen books.
Isaacson, 62, wrote about technological innovation in “The Innovators,” which will be published by Simon and Schuster in October. The book explores the personalities of people such as Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Larry Page. This will be his follow-up to “Steve Jobs,” Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the computer icon. Isaacson is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute think tank in Washington, D.C.
“The UnAmericans” is the debut work by Molly Antopol, who teaches creative at Stanford. She has previously received a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation.
The list of five finalists in each category will be announced on October 15, and the winners will be announced on November 19. The awards gala will be hosted by Daniel Handler, who is also known as Lemony Snicket and the author of the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books.