National Book Critics Circle Awards

The winners of the National Book Critics Circle Awards have just been announced:


Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad


Jonathan Franzen, Freedom

David Grossman, To the End of the Land, tr. by Jessica Cohen

Hans Keilson, Comedy in a Minor Key, tr. by Damion Searls

Paul Murray, Skippy Dies


C. D. Wright, One with Others: [a little book of her days]


Anne Carson, Nox

Kathleen Graber, The Eternal City

Terrance Hayes, Lighthead

Kay Ryan, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems


Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration


Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

S.C. Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Jennifer Homans, Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet

Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer


Sarah Bakewell, How To Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer


Selina Hastings, The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham

Yunte Huang, Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History

Thomas Powers, The Killing of Crazy Horse

Tom Segev, Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends


Darin Strauss, Half a Life


Kai Bird, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956–1978

David Dow, The Autobiography of an Execution

Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Hiroshima in the Morning

Patti Smith, Just Kids


Clare Cavanagh, Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West


Elif Batuman, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

Terry Castle, The Professor and Other Writings

Susie Linfield, The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence

Ander Monson, Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: Parul Sehgal

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award: Dalkey Archive Press

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC), comprised of approximately 600 active book reviewers, “honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature.”  You can read more about the winners and finalists here.

~ Olivia M.

3 thoughts on “National Book Critics Circle Awards

  1. Booyah! Thanks for this post, Olivia. I can personally attest to the awesomeness of the biography winner: How to Live by Sarah Bakewell. Not only is it a great bio of Montaigne, but it works as a self-help guide with tips extrapolated from Montaigne’s essays on how to live a fuller and happier life. We should all stick slices of burnt toast into our hard drives and cook our cellphones, e-readers, iPads, what have yous in the microwave on high for awhile and close the curtains, read this book, and smile.

    Also, one of the finalists for best non-fiction, Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick is freaking great! It’s about the lives of normal people in North Korea as told by those who have defected. It is endlessly riveting and heartbreaking. Just finished it and can’t recommend it highly enough.

    Happy reading!

  2. I haven’t read the other 4 fiction finalists, but “Freedom” by Franzen is certainly outstanding.

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