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National Book Award Finalists Coming to the Main Library on January 30th



Join National Book Award finalists Jericho Brown (The Tradition) and Akwaeke Emezi (Pet) at Charleston County Public Library’s Main Branch this Thursday, January 30th at 6 pm for NBF Presents: The Art of Invention. The program, which is presented in partnership with the Black Ink Book Festival, is free and open to the public.

Part of the National Book Foundation’s “NBF Presents” spring series, The Art of Invention will feature brief readings, a moderated conversation and a Q&A session, followed by a book signing with Blue Bicycle Books. Brown and Emezi will discuss breaking convention to create brand-new forms, worlds, and hybrid genres, and what disruption and invention means for the future of literature.

“NBF Presents provides the opportunity to dig into conversations that matter with audiences and readers around the country and shows how literature inspires questions, transforms ideas, and creates dialogue for a community,” NBF Executive Director Lisa Lucas said.

The NBF is a nonprofit organization that aims to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. The National Book Awards, established in 1950, is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes. The awards currently recognize books in five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.

For more information on this program, or to RSVP online, visit For details on the NBF and the National Book Awards, visit

About Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was nominated for the 2019 National Book Award. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

About Akwaeke Emezi
Akwaeke Emezi made their young adult debut with Pet (Make Me a World/Random House Children’s Books), a Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. An honoree on the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” list, a longlist nominee for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and a shortlist nominee for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, Akwaeke continues to receive accolades for their adult debut, Freshwater. The autobiographical novel also received rave reviews from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Los Angeles Times, among others, as well as starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist. Their sophomore adult novel, The Death of Vivek Oji, is forthcoming in 2020 from Riverhead Books.

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  1. Pingback: NBF Presents: The Art of Invention | City of Charleston

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