It’s almost that special time of year again – for the National Book Awards Festival at SHSU! Sam Houston State University will have the pleasure of welcoming the outstanding authors below in April 2018.
For the fifth year, SHSU, HISD, and the City of Huntsville will host two weeks of events featuring critically acclaimed books for a variety of audiences (one of only four such events across the country).
SHSU’s Dr. Amanda Nowlin-O’Banion shared how pleased she was with this year’s visiting artists.
“We’re thrilled to have such profoundly engaging authors,” said Nowlin-O’Banion. “Not only are they fantastic writers, they are equally excellent performers. You will enjoy reading their work on your own and hearing them at the main event on16.of them challenge the power structure on our national narrative – a sense of belonging and how we make our places and demand to be seen.”
Mark your calendars for16a chance to hear these talented authors present and answer questions about their critically acclaimed work, but keep an eye on the calendar for interactive events leading up to that date. For more information, visitwww.shsu.edu/nba.
Lisa Ko: The Leavers, 2017 Finalist in Fiction:
Lisa Ko’s “The Leavers” gives us Deming Guo, who is also Daniel Wilkerson, a transnational adoptee abandoned by his mother, Polly Guo, an undocumented Chinese immigrant. In their criss-crossing stories we see how this novel’s unique doubled consciousness is the one way they can be together, and in their struggle to belong, at least to themselves, there is a vision for an America big enough to include them when America does not. A bold reinvention of the Asian immigrant novel as great American novel.” – National Book Foundation, Judges’ Citation
Danez Smith: Don’t Call Us Dead, 2017 Finalist in Poetry: In “Don’t Call Us Dead,” Danez Smith brilliantly illuminates our troubled dynamics of race and sexuality. Black boys and men—no longer murdered, no longer threatened—bask in the glow of “summer, somewhere,” an Eden of alternative imagining where “everything / is sanctuary & nothing is a gun.” Now searching, now scintillating, the poet’s spotlight reveals the hidden contours of hunger and shame and draws a bright line from diaspora to diagnosis to destiny.” – National Book Foundation, Judges’ Citation
Jason Reynolds: , 2016 Finalist in Young People’s Literature and Long Way Down, 2017 Longlist Finalist in Young People’s Literature: In “Ghost,” Jason Reynolds flawlessly delivers eloquent moments of terror, anticipation and fun—clear to the finish line—without an extra word to spare. We are immersed in the backdrop of believable characters from the night Ghost Crenshaw runs for his life, to his struggle to silence the “scream inside him.”Ghostwill stay with you.” – National Book Foundation, Judges’ Citation
Long Way Downis “an ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book Award Finalist andNew York Timesbestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.” – Atheneum Books, publisher