1981 National Book Awards

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
HardcoverWalt Whitman, Justin Kaplan
PaperbackSamuel Beckett, Deirdre Bair
Children's Books, Fiction
HardcoverThe Night Swimmers, Betsy Byars
PaperbackRamona and Her Mother, Beverly Cleary
Children's Books, Nonfiction
HardcoverOh, Boy! Babies, Alison Cragin Herzig and Jane Lawrence Mali
HardcoverPlains Song, Wright Morris
PaperbackThe Stories of John Cheever, John Cheever
First NovelSister Wolf, Ann Arensberg
General Nonfiction
HardcoverChina Men, Maxine Hong Kingston
PaperbackThe Last Cowboy, Jane Kramer
HardcoverChristianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, John Boswell
PaperbackBeen in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, Leon F. Litwak
PoetryThe Need to Hold Still, Lisel Mueller
HardcoverThe Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History, Stephen Jay Gould
PaperbackThe Medusa and the Snail, Lewis Thomas
TranslationThe Letters of Gustave Flaubert, Francis Steegmuller
Arno Schmidt's Evening Edged in Gold, John E. Woods

Sources +