Salvage the Bones: A Novel
by Jesmyn Ward
2011 National Book Award for Fiction Winner. Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.
by Andrew Krivak
2011 National Book Award for Fiction Finalist. Uprooted from a nineteenth century mining town in Colorado by a shocking family tragedy, young Jozef Vinich returns with his father to an impoverished shepherd's life in rural Austria-Hungary. When war comes, Jozef is sent as a sharpshooter to the southern front, where he must survive the killing trenches, a perilous trek across the frozen Italian Alps, and capture by a victorious enemy.
The Tiger's Wife: A Novel
by Téa Obreht
2011 National Book Award for Fiction Finalist. Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife.
The Buddha in the Attic
by Julie Otsuka
2011 National Book Award for Fiction Finalist. This finely crafted novel presents the stories of six Japanese mail-order brides whose new lives in early twentieth-century San Francisco are marked by backbreaking migrant work, cultural struggles, children who reject their heritage, and the prospect of wartime internment.
Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories
by Edith Pearlman
2011 National Book Award for Fiction Finalist. Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, these 21 vintage selected stories and 13 scintillating new ones take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan, and from the Maine coast to Godolphin, Massachusetts, a fictional suburb of Boston. These charged locales, and the lives of the endlessly varied characters within them, are evoked with a tenderness and incisiveness found in only our most observant seers.
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
by Stephen Greenblatt
2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction Winner. Greenblatt transports listeners to the dawn of the Renaissance and chronicles the life of an intrepid book lover who rescued the Roman philosophical text On the Nature of Things from certain oblivion.
The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism
by Deborah Baker
2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction Finalist. "The Convert" tells the story of how Margaret Marcus of Larchmont became Maryam Jameelah of Lahore, one of the most trenchant and celebrated voices of Islam's argument with the West.
Love and Capital: Karl and Jennie Marx and the Birth of a Revolution
by Mary Gabriel
2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction Finalist. Mary Gabriel brings to light the story of Karl and Jenny Marx's marriage. We follow them as they roam Europe, on the run from hostile governments amidst a secret network of would-be revolutionaries, and see Karl not only as an intellectual, but as a protective father and loving husband, a visionary, a jokester, a man of tremendous passions, both political and personal.
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
by Manning Marable
2011 National Book Award for Nonfiction Finalist. This biography draws on new research to trace the life of Malcolm X from his troubled youth through his involvement in the Nation of Islam, his activism in the world of Black Nationalism, and his assassination.