Book published by Ohio State University Press is a finalist for the National Book Award

A collection of essays by author Jerald Walker, published by The Ohio State University Press, is a finalist for this year’s National Book Award for nonfiction.

Walker’s “How to Make a Slave and Other Essays” is one of 25 finalists for the 2020 National Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. The five finalists in each category were selected by a panel of literary experts, and were advanced from a list of nominees announced in September.

“How to Make a Slave and Other Essays” is one of 25 finalists for the 2020 National Book Award

“The National Book Award is the most prestigious award a U.S. publisher and author can receive for their work and we’re delighted to have one of our books selected as a finalist,” said Tony Sanfilippo, director of The Ohio State University Press. “We’re incredibly proud of the work of our editor, Kristen Elias Rowley, and our author, Jerald Walker. They well deserve this honor, a first in the history of the Ohio State University Press.”

Walker’s collection includes reflections on his experiences in academia such as racial profiling by a campus security guard, accounts of discussing race with his children, and contemplations on disability and family. It will be published in November.

He is the author of “The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult” and “Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption,” winner of the 2011 PEN New England Award for nonfiction. Walker has published in magazines such as Creative NonfictionHarvard ReviewMother Jones and Oxford American. The recipient of James A. Michener and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, he is a professor of creative writing at Emerson College in Boston.

The university press is committed to advancing knowledge, and has been disseminating scholarship in the humanities and the social sciences since 1957. As the publishing branch of Ohio State, the university press publishes peer-reviewed scholarly works through its books and journals program, promoting the work of academics throughout the world.

The National Book Award winners will be announced in a ceremony on Nov. 18. The ceremony will be streamed on YouTube and also available at the foundation’s website:

Winners of the National Book Awards receive $10,000 and a bronze medal and statue. Finalists receive $1,000 and a bronze medal.