The 10 nominated works include "Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh" (Lahr), "The Meaning of Human Existence" (Edward O. Wilson), "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" (Roz Chast), "No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes" (Anand Gopal), "The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution" (Walter Isaacson), "Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China" (Evan Osnos), "Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic" (Matthew Stewart), "When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944" (Ronald C. Rosbottom), "The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942" (Nigel Hamilton) and "The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic" (John Demos). Five finalists will be announced Oct. 15, and the winners will be recognized at a Nov. 19 awards gala, hosted by Daniel Handler.
"Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh" promises "intimate access to the mind of one of the most brilliant dramatists of his century, whose plays reshaped the American theater and the nation's sense of itself. This astute, deeply researched biography sheds a light on Tennessee Williams's warring family, his guilt, his creative triumphs and failures, his sexuality and numerous affairs, his misreported death, even the shenanigans surrounding his estate."