Pynchon, Lahiri among book award finalists

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NEW YORK (AP) — Thomas Pynchon, George Saunders and Jhumpa Lahiri are among the finalists on the fiction long-list for the National Book Awards, a list featuring the kind of high-profile choices major publishers have been advocating for years.

Also among the 10 nominees announced Thursday by the National Book Foundation are Alice McDermott, James McBride and Rachel Kushner. Publishers, several of whom are represented on the foundation's board, had complained that in recent years the fiction picks were too obscure and that sales suffered. This year, a long-list of 10 was introduced for each of the four competitive categories and the pool of judges was expanded beyond fellow writers to representatives from journalism, bookselling and libraries.

The long-lists will be narrowed to five in each category next month. Winners will be announced Nov. 20.

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