The National Book Critics Circle Award

2018 NBCC Award Finalists

Autobiography

Richard Beard, The Day That Went Missing: A Family’s Story (Little, Brown)

Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir (Catapult)

Rigoberto Gonzalez, What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth: A Memoir of Brotherhood (University of Wisconsin Press)

Nora Krug, Belonging: A German Reckons With History and Home (Scribner)

Nell Painter, Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over (Counterpoint)

Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir (Random House)

Biography

Christopher Bonanos, Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous (Henry Holt & Company)

Craig Brown, Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Yunte Huang, Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History (Liveright)

Mark Lamster, The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century (Little, Brown)

Jane Leavy, The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created (Harper/HarperCollins)

Criticism

Robert Christgau, Is It Still Good to Ya?: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017 (Duke University Press)

Stephen Greenblatt, Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics (W.W. Norton)

Terrance Hayes, To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight (Wave)

Lacy M. Johnson, The Reckonings: Essays (Scribner)

Zadie Smith, Feel Free: Essays (Penguin Press)

Fiction

Anna Burns, Milkman (Graywolf Press)

Patrick Chamoiseau, Slave Old Man Translated by Linda Coverdale (The New Press)

Denis Johnson, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden (Random House)

Rachel Kushner, The Mars Room (Scribner)

Luis Alberto Urrea, The House of Broken Angels (Little, Brown)

Nonfiction

Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border (Riverhead Books)

Steve Coll, Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Penguin Press)

Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (Penguin Press)

Adam Winkler, We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (Liveright)

Lawrence Wright, God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State (Knopf)

Poetry

Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Books)

Ada Limón, The Carrying (Milkweed)

Erika Meitner, Holy Moly Carry Me (Boa)

Diane Seuss, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (Graywolf Press)

Adam Zagajewski, Asymmetry. Translated by Clare Cavanagh (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

Maureen Corrigan

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America.

Her book So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures was published by Little, Brown in September 2014. Corrigan's literary memoir, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading! was published in 2005. Corrigan is also a reviewer and columnist for The Washington Post's Book World, and has served on the advisory panel of The American Heritage Dictionary.

Balakian Finalists

David Biespiel

Julia Klein

Becca Rothfeld

Wendy Smith

John Leonard Prize

Tommy Orange, There There (Knopf)

Tommy Orange is a graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California.

John Leonard Finalists

Nana Kwami Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black (Mariner)

Jamel Brinkley, A Lucky Man (Graywolf Press)

Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border (Riverhead)

Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry: A Novel (Simon and Schuster)

R.O. Kwon, The Incendiaries (Riverhead)

Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir (Random House)

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

Arte Público Press

Arte Público Press is the oldest and largest publisher of Hispanic literature in the United States. Founded 40 years ago by Dr. Nicolás Kanellos, and currently based in Houston, Texas, Arte Público publishes dozens of books by Latino writers each year in both English and Spanish, including titles under its children’s literature imprint, Piñata Books. In 1992,  Arte Público began its Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, which seeks to recover and publish lost texts from Latino writers from colonial times to the mid-20th century. Arte Público was he original publisher of Sandra Cisneros’ legendary novel The House on Mango Streett. Other authors published by Arte Público have included Helena María Viramontes, John Rechy, Ana Castillo and Luis Valdez. Arte Público’s determination to build bridges, not walls, has immeasurably enriched American literature and culture.

Winners of the National Book Critics Circle awards will be announced on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium, 66 W. 12th St, New York, NY. A finalists’ reading will be held on March 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the same location. Both events are free and open to the public. The NBCC hosts a fundraising reception following the awards on March 14. The tickets, $50 for NBCC members when purchased in advance and $75 to the general public, benefit the NBCC, the awards, and the work that the NBCC does year round to promote books, critics, and writers nationwide.

2017 NBCC Award Winners

Fiction

book cover image for Improvement
Joan Silber
Improvement
(Counterpoint)


General Nonfiction

book cover image for The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
Frances FitzGerald
The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
(Simon & Schuster)


Autobiography

book cover image for Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China
Xiaolu
Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China
(Grove)


Biography

book cover image for Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Caroline Fraser
Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
(Metropolitan Books)


Poetry

book cover image for Whereas
Layli Long Soldier
Whereas
(Graywolf)


Criticism

book cover image for You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages
Carina Chocano
You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages
(HMH/Mariner)


John Leonard Prize

book cover image for Her Body and Other Parties
Carmen Maria Machado
Her Body and Other Parties
(Graywolf)


2017 Nonfiction Finalists

Jack E. Davis, The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea (Liveright)

Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster)

Masha Gessen, The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia (Riverhead)

Kapka Kassabova, Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe (Graywolf)

Adam Rutherford, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes (The Experiment)

Biography Finalists

Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books)

Edmund Gordon, The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography (Oxford University Press)

Howard Markel, The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek (Pantheon)

William Taubman, Gorbachev: His Life and Times (W.W. Norton)

Kenneth Whyte, Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times (Knopf)

Autobiography

Thi Bui, The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir (Abrams)   

Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (Harper)

Henry Marsh, Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martins)

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, The Girl From the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia, translated by Anna Summers (Penguin)   

Xiaolu Guo, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China (Grove)   

Poetry

Nuar Alsadir, Fourth Person Singular (Oxford University Press)  

James Longenbach, Earthling (W.W. Norton)

Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf)

Frank Ormsby, The Darkness of Snow (Wake Forest University Press)

Ana Ristović, Directions for Use, translated by Steven Teref and Maja Teref (Zephyr Press)

Criticism Finalists

Carina Chocano, You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner)

Edwidge Danticat, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (Graywolf)

Camille T. Dungy, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History  (W.W. Norton)   

Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions (Coffee House)                  

Kevin Young, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News (Graywolf)   

Fiction Finalists

Mohsin Hamid, Exit West (Riverhead)

Alice McDermott, The Ninth Hour (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Knopf)

Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)

Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Finalists

David Biespiel, Maureen Corrigan, Ruth Franklin, James Marcus

Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2017

Tickets for Benefit Reception

Following the Awards Ceremony, March 14, 2019
Become a Member of the NBCC

Awards Information





Upcoming Events

NBCC Finalists’ Reading: March 13th, 2019

NBCC Awards Ceremony and Reception: March 14th, 2019

NBCC at AWP19 with Paul Beatty and Joan Silber: March 28th, 2019

NBCC at AWP19 The Future of Criticism: A Conversation with Established and Emerging Critics: March 30th, 2019


Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2017 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2017 Finalists Reading

All videos and podcasts.





From the Critical Mass blog

31 Books in 30 Days: Lori Feathers on Anna Burns’ ‘Milkman’

In this 31 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 14, 2019, announcement of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board

31 Books in 30 Days: Mary Ann Gwinn on Mark Lamster’s ‘The Man in the Glass House’

In the 31 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 14, 2019, announcement of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board

31 Books in 30 Days: Kate Tuttle on Nora Krug’s ‘Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home’

In this 31 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 14, 2019, announcement of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board

31 Books in 30 Days: John McWhorter on Chris Bonanos’ ‘Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous’

In this 31 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 14, 2019, announcement of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board