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National Book Awards unveil shortlist

26th January 2010

The National Book Critics Circle has announced its shortlist of the best books of the past year.

Founded in 1974, the US-based group is made up of more than 600 active book reviewers and aims to recognise excellence in fiction, nonfiction, autobiography, biography, criticism and poetry through the National Book Awards.

Nominees in the fiction category include Bonnie Jo Campbell's American Salvage, The Book of Night Women by Marlon James, Michelle Huneven's Blame, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and Jayne Anne Phillips' Lark and Termite.

The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger and Greg Grandin's Fordlandia are among the titles competing for the nonfiction honour, while Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone by Stanislao Pugliese and Blake Bailey's Cheever: A Life are in the running for best biography.

Last year, Roberto Bolano's 2666 won the National Book Awards' fiction category, The Forever War by Dexter Filkins scooped the nonfiction prize and Patrick French's The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul took home the biography accolade.

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