This combination of cover images shows the National Book Award finalists for nonfiction, from left, "Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus" by David Quammen, "His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice" by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, "South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation" by Imani Perry, "The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness" by Meghan O’Rourke and "The Man Who Could Move Clouds" by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. (Simon &Schuster/Viking/Ecco/Riverhead/Doubleday via AP)
This combination of photos shows National Book Award finalists for young people’s literature, from left, "All My Rage" by Sabaa Tahir, "Maizy Chen’s Last Chance" by Lisa Yee, "The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School" by Sonora Reyes, "The Ogress and the Orphans" by Kelly Barnhill and “Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice,” a collaboration among Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawud Anyabwile (Razorbill/Random House/Balzer + Bray/Algonquin Young Readers/Norton Young Readers via AP)
This combination of cover images shows the National Book Award finalists for fiction, from left, "All This Could Be Different" by Sarah Thankam Mathews, "The Birdcatcher" by Gayl Jones, "The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories" by Jamil Jan Kochai, "The Rabbit Hutch" by Tess Gunty and "The Town of Babylon" by Alejandro Varela. (Viking/Beacon/Viking/Knopf/Astra via AP)
NEW YORK — Gayl Jones’ “The Birdcatcher,” a short, lyrical novel about a writer’s trip to Ibiza and the gifted, unstable couple she stays with, is a National Book Award finalist for fiction.