Two novels with eerie echoes of world catastrophes, both set at summer houses, are among this year’s five fiction finalists for the National Book Award.

Lydia Millet’s “The Children’s Bible,” about multiple families whose kids have come to disdain their parents, has been read as an allegory about religious storytelling, planetary safekeeping and the climate crisis. Rumaan Alam’s “Leave the World Behind” follows a white Brooklyn couple and their children on a vacation to Long Island, where they become unsettled by an apparent apocalyptic event and the unexpected arrival of their rental home’s Black owners.

Millet is the only one of 25 finalists across five categories announced Tuesday who had previously been longlisted for a National Book Award (in 2016, for “Sweet Lamb of Heaven”). The other three fiction finalists this year are Deesha Philyaw, for “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” a story collection that follows the lives, religion and moral concerns of Black women across several generations; Charles Yu, for “Interior Chinatown,” a metafictional novel that interrogates Hollywood’s clichés about Asians and Asian-Americans; and Douglas Stuart, for “Shuggie Bain,” a debut novel about a boy and his struggling, addicted mother in 1980s Glasgow, which was also named a finalist for this year’s Booker Prize.

The nonfiction finalists include “The Dead Are Arising,” a new biography of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne, and “My Autobiography of Carson McCullers,” by Jenn Shapland, which combines memoir about identity with research about McCullers’s affairs with women, which have been downplayed by the novelist’s biographers.

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