The National Book Award Finalists have been announced. In the fiction category, the finalists are:
The Lazarus Project, by Aleksandar Hemon. A historical mystery surrounding the murder of a young immigrant at the home of the Chicago chief of police in 1908. Interestingly, this book has received mediocre reviews at both LibraryThing and Amazon. Mr. Hemon is the author of The Question of Bruno and Nowhere Man.
Telex from Cuba, by Rachel Kushner. This novel explores what happened in a small Cuban town during the time leading up to the Cuban Revolution. This is Ms. Kushner's debut novel.
Shadow Country, by Peter Matthiessen. From the author of In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Shadow Country is a reworking and compilation of the Watson Trilogy (including Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man's River, and Bone by Bone). This trilogy explores the life of Edgar J. Watson, legendary Florida pioneer who owned a sugar cane plantation in the early 20th century. Legend has it that Watson murdered the infamous Belle Star. Excellent reviews.
Home, by Marilynne Robinson. Home is a companion novel to Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gilead. In Home, the adult children from Gilead return home to care for their dying father, each grappling with what it means to return home.
The End, by Salvatore Scibona. A family saga that takes place in Midwest America during the 1950s, this is Mr. Scibona's first novel and has been receiving good reviews on Amazon.