NEW YORK (AP) — A debut novel about a biochemistry major, a book of chapters centered in part on Hawaiian volcanoes, and an exploration of rural politics in China have won awards for their blend of literary quality and scientific insight.
The National Book Foundation, which administers the National Book Awards, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced the second annual list of winners on Wednesday. Authors receive $10,000 from the Science + Literature program.
The winners are Brandon Taylor’s debut novel, “Real Life,” in which a queer black college student ponders whether to pursue a career in science; Sabrina Imbler’s book of chapters “Dyke (geology)”, a coming-out story about nature in which the stars could really collide, and “Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside” by Xiaowei Wang.
“These deeply engaging works – from stories rooted in science journalism and real-life experiences to fictional narratives rich in scientific understanding – demonstrate the many ways science and technology permeate our daily lives,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. in a report. “The titles selected this year contribute to a national conversation about the importance of diverse science writing and are sure to offer something for every type of reader.”
The Science + Literature program is funded by a 3-year, $525,000 grant from the Sloan Foundation, which over the years has supported such notable books as the Pulitzer Prize-winning J. Robert Oppenheimer biography of Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, “American Prometheus,” and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.