Inside Story by Martin Amis: 2020 Fiction Finalist

By Carlin Romano

Inside Story by Martin Amis (Knopf) “Fiction is freedom,” Martin Amis tells us repeatedly throughout his self-dubbed “novelised autobiography,” a supposed work of fiction with an index full of real

The Shore by Chris Nealon: 2020 Poetry Finalist

By Jacob M. Appel

The Shore by Chris Nealon (Wave) Anti-capitalist poetry—arguably because it is itself the product of consumer capitalism—comes in an extravagant variety of flavors from the subversive head-trips of Allen Ginsberg

Homie by Danez Smith: 2020 Poetry Finalist

By Diego Báez

Homie by Danez Smith (Graywolf) This third, highly anticipated collection of poetry from Smith has been praised for its “startling originality and ambition,” recognized as “deeply moving and funny,” and

Stranger Faces by Namwali Serpell: 2020 Criticism Finalist

By Jane Ciabattari

Stranger Faces by Namwali Serpell (Transit Books) Namwali Serpell’s provocative collection of speculative essays, Stranger Faces, showcases her originality, clarity, nuanced language, wry wit and cultural range (from Derrida to

Home Baked by Alia Volz: 2020 Autobiography Finalist

By Stephanie Burt

Home Baked: Marijuana, My Mother and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) Ample, skillfully researched, and cleanly narrated, Volz’s debut is really five books in