Cottom’s book one of 10 in the running for National Book Award for Nonfiction

Tressie McMillan Cottom and the cover for her latest book: “Thick: And Other Essays”
Tressie McMillan Cottom's book is a collection of essays that offers a multifaceted portrayal of the experience of black womanhood. (University Public Affairs)

Tressie McMillan Cottom‘s critically acclaimed book, “Thick: And Other Essays,” is one of 10 works longlisted for this year’s National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Cottom’s book, published by The New Press, is a collection of essays that offers a multifaceted portrayal of the experience of black womanhood, exploring topics including beauty, media, money and pop culture. The book has been featured in NPR’s “On Point,” Time, PBS, VIBE, Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times. Cottom, Ph.D., also was interviewed on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” shortly after the book’s publication in January. 

The National Book Foundation will announce five finalists for the award on Oct. 8. The 2019 winner will be announced Nov. 20.

“I am stunned and honored to be recognized by the National Book Foundation,” Cottom said. “The company that ‘Thick’ finds itself in continues to amaze me.” 

Cottom, an assocate professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Slate and The Atlantic, among others. She is the author of “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy” and in January was ranked among the 200 scholars in the U.S. who had the biggest influence on educational practice and policy over the past year. 

A glance at the 10 books and authors longlisted:

- Hanif Abdurraqib, “Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest,” University of Texas Press

- Sarah M. Broom, “The Yellow House,” Grove Press

- Tressie McMillan Cottom, “Thick: And Other Essays,” The New Press 

- Carolyn Forché, “What You Have Heard is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance,” Penguin Press

- Patrick Radden Keefe, “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland,” Doubleday 

- David Treuer, “The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present,” Riverhead Books 

- Greg Grandin, “The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America,” Metropolitan Books

- Iliana Regan, “Burn the Place: A Memoir,” Agate Midway

- Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership,” The University of North Carolina Press 

- Albert Woodfox with Leslie George, “Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement, My Story of Transformation and Hope,” Grove Press 

Brian McNeill contributed to this report.

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