Congratulations to Mónica Ojeda and translator Sarah Booker, whose novel Jawbone has been announced as a 2022 National Book Award Finalist in Translated Literature; and to Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, whose book Look at This Blue has been announced as a 2022 National Book Award Finalist in Poetry.
Coffee House Press is proud to have two titles among those announced today as finalists for this year’s National Book Awards: Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda, translated from the Spanish by Sarah Booker; and Look at This Blue by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke.
The twenty-five finalists across five award categories were selected by a distinguished panel of judges from 1,772 total books submitted by publishers. Each finalist will be awarded $1,000 and a bronze medal at a private ceremony preceding the National Book Awards Finalists Reading held at New York University on the evening of November 15.
The winners of each category will be announced live on Wednesday, November 16, at the 73rd National Book Awards Ceremony & Benefit Dinner, held in person at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. The National Book Foundation will also broadcast the ceremony live on their Youtube, Facebook, and website. Winners of the National Book Awards will be awarded $10,000 along with a statue.
All of us at Coffee House send our congratulations to Mónica, Sarah, and Allison, and our thanks to the National Book Foundation and prize judges for recognizing their literary achievements!
More About the Finalist Titles:
Jawbone, the U.S. debut for Ecuadorian author Mónica Ojeda, is a deliciously wicked dive into the terrors of adolescence, examining the relationships between four teen girls who form increasingly dangerous rituals to match the cultic mythology crafted by their ringleader. Meanwhile, their new teacher’s traumatic past and unusual obsessions prove to be a threat for more than just her own sanity. “Two Catholic high school classmates bond over their mutual love of horror stories and become inseparable, near mirror images of each other,” write the judges. “[Jawbone] creates a world where villains and victims become impossible to distinguish.”
Look at This Blue—a multifaceted, intimately constructed single poem by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke—forms a durational love letter to California and its people, species, horizons, disasters, and deep beauty. Hedge Coke insists upon an honest reckoning with America’s continued violence toward Earth and its indigenous people as she constructs this powerful call for resistance and healing. The judges write, “[Hedge Coke] grapples with America’s long history of violence against people, animals, and the Earth in Look at This Blue. Her book-length poem courageously warns of a dire future terrorized by mass extinction and the impacts of climate change and offers a timely—and time-sensitive—wake-up call.”
More About the Finalists:
Mónica Ojeda is the author of the novels La desfiguración Silva (Premio Alba Narrativa, 2014), Nefando (Candaya, 2016), and Mandíbula (Candaya, 2018), as well as the poetry collections El ciclo de las piedras (Rastro de la Iguana, 2015) and Historia de la leche (Candaya, 2020). Her stories have been published in the anthology Emergencias: Doce cuentos iberoamericanos (Candaya, 2014) and the collections Caninos (Editorial Turbina, 2017) and Las voladoras (Páginas de Espuma, 2020). In 2017, she was included on the Bógota39 list of the best thirty-nine Latin American writers under forty, and in 2019, she received the Prince Claus Next Generation Award in honor of her outstanding literary achievements.
Sarah Booker is an educator and literary translator working from Spanish to English. Her translations include Mónica Ojeda’s Jawbone (Coffee House Press, 2022), Gabriela Ponce’s Blood Red (Restless Books, 2022), and Cristina Rivera Garza’s New and Selected Stories (Dorothy Press, 2022), Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country (Feminist Press, 2020), and The Iliac Crest (Feminist Press, 2017; And Other Stories, 2018). Her translations have also been published in journals such as the Paris Review, Asymptote, Latin American Literature Today, 3:am magazine, the Baffler, and Nashville Review. She has a PhD in Hispanic Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently based in Morganton, North Carolina, where she teaches Spanish at the North Carolina School of Science and Math.
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, a Fulbright scholar, First Jade Nurtured SiHui Female International Poetry Award recipient, recent Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals, and U.S. Library of Congress Witter Bynner fellow, has written seven books of poetry, one book of nonfiction, and a play. Following former field worker retraining in Santa Paula and Ventura in the mid-1980s, she began teaching, and she is now a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. Hedge Coke is the editor of ten anthologies and has served as an editor and guest editor for several magazines and journals, most recently World Literature Today. A career community advocate and organizer, she most recently directed UCR’s Writers Week, the Along the Chaparral/Pūowaina project, and the Sandhill Crane Migration Retreat and Festival.