The National Book Foundation announced the finalists for the 2012 National Book Awards Wednesday, with Latino writers snagging two of the spots in the prestigious awards nominations.
Junot Diaz, recently named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, is one of five finalists in the fiction category for his short story collection “This Is How You Lose Her”. Though the stories have their own individual plotlines, they all focus on the subject of a young Dominican womanizer and the ensuing complications with love and cheating. The main character, Yunior, is the same Yunior from Diaz’s acclaimed books “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and “Drown.”
Nonfiction writer Domingo Martinez was also named a finalist for his memoir “The Boy Kings of Texas.” Martinez, who was born and raised in Texas, tells his coming of age story of growing up near the Mexican border, machismo, and the struggles of his family to cope with poverty. In it he talks about his gun-toting Grandma and his older sisters’ attempt to shift their identities from Latina to white.
This is not the first time Martinez has received recognition for his memoir. The “Boy Kings of Texas” was also nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize.
The Awards are so highly regarded in the literature community that they now only rival the Pulitzers. The winners will be selected by a five- person panel and will be announced at a gala in New York City on November 14. Each winner will receive $10,000.