Smith's memoir Just Kids, about her friendship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe, is competing in the Non-Fiction category. The other nominees include Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea; John W. Dower Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq; Justin Spring's Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, and Megan K. Stack's Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War.
Nominated writers also include Paolo Bacigalupi, Peter Carey, Kathryn Erskine, Jaimy Gordon, Kathleen Graber, Terrance Hayes, Nicole Krauss, Laura McNeal, Walter Dean Myers, James Richardson, Lionel Shriver, Rita Williams-Garcia, C.D. Wright, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Monica Youn.
Smith co-wrote the play Cowboy Mouth with Sam Shepard, and has recorded numerous albums over the years.
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