More than 200 publishers submitted 1,258 books for the 2008 National Book Awards. Here are the finalists, which were announced Wednesday. The winners will be announced Nov. 19.
The Lazarus Project
by Aleksandar Hemon
Riverhead / 304 pages / $24.95
A young writer in Chicago goes in search of the answers to why a police chief killed an Eastern European immigrant a century ago.
Telex from Cuba
by Rachel Kushner
Scribner / 336 pages / $25
When Cubans Fidel and Raul Castro lead a revolt, two youngsters on a U.S. plantation discover the brutality that keeps the colony humming.
by Peter Matthiessen
ModernLibrary / 912 pages / $40
A notorious outlaw of the Florida Everglades drives himself toward his own violent end.
by Marilynne Robinson
Farrar, Straus & Giroux / 336 pages / $25
Taking place in the same time and place as her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, Marilynne Robinson tells the story of Glory Boughton, who returns to take care of her dying father.
by Salvatore Scibona
Graywolf Press / 324 pages / $24
The End follows the characters in a carnival crowd across seven preceding decades - an elderly abortionist, an enigmatic drapery seamstress, a teenage boy and a jeweler.
This Republic of Suffering
by Drew Gilpin Faust
Alfred A. Knopf / 645 pages / $31
Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust writes of the American struggle to comprehend the meaning and practicalities of death in the face of the Civil War.
The Hemingses of Monticello
by Annette Gordon-Reed
W.W. Norton & Company / 800 pages / $35
Historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after President Thomas Jefferson's death in 1826.
The Dark Side
by Jane Mayer
Doubleday / 400 pages / $27.50
An account of how the U.S. made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists - decisions that not only violated the Constitution but also hampered the pursuit of al-Qaida.
by Jim Sheeler
Penguin / 288 pages / $25.95
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jim Sheeler profiles a casualty notification officer who embarks on the most important mission of his life.
The Suicide Index
by Joan Wickersham
Harcourt / 336 pages / $25
Indexing every bit of family history, Joan Wickersham explores why her father killed himself.
Watching the Spring Festival
by Frank Bidart
Farrar, Straus & Giroux / 72 pages / $25
Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems
by Mark Doty
HarperCollins / 336 pages / $22.95
Creatures of a Day
by Reginald Gibbons
Louisiana State University Press / 88 pages / $16.95
by Richard Howard
Turtle Point Press / 28 pages / $16.95
by Patricia Smith
Coffee House Press / 90 pages / $16
The National Book Foundation; amazon.com