The National Book Awards Longlist: Nonfiction

Half of the titles on this year’s National Book Awards longlist for Nonfiction can be classified as memoirs. But within that flexible category is immense variety: there’s Ta-Nehisi Coates’s open letter to his son, about how to “live free in this black body”; Sally Mann’s photo-filled account of her familial and artistic life in the American South; Carla Power’s story of friendship with Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi and their joint study of the Koran; Tracy K. Smith’s chronicle of “growing up in a bookish family and the dawning of her poetic vocation”; and Michael White’s record of travelling through Europe and the U.S. to see the paintings of Vermeer while going through a painful divorce.

From The National Book Awards Longlist: Nonfiction – The New Yorker