Finalists Announced for the National Book Critics Circle Awards

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has announced its finalists for the publishing year 2015 in six categories: Autobiography, Biography, Criticism, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. The jury, compiled of critics and book review editors, chose five finalists for each category – nominating 30 books in total.  Finalists include: Ta-Nehisi Coates, a National Book Award Winner for his biography Between the World and Me; Poet Ada Limón for Bright Dead Things; and, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff for her ambitious novel Fates and Furies.  The winners will be announced on March 17, 2016 at the New School in New York City, and the ceremony will be free and open to the public.  

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In addition, the NBCC announced the winners for three annual awards. Prolific author, environmentalist, pacifist, and farmer Wendell Berry will receive the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award; Kirstin Valdez Quade will receive the John Leonard Prize which recognizes “outstanding first books in any genre” for her story collection Night at the Fiestas; and, Carlos Lozada, an associate editor and nonfiction book critic for The Washington Post will receive the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. 

(Left to right) Quade, Lozada, and Berry

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Full list of award finalists for 2015:



Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World

Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City

George Hodgman, Bettyville

Margo Jefferson, Negroland

Helen Macdonald, H Is for Hawk



Terry Alford, Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth

Charlotte Gordon, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley

T.J. Stiles, Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America

Rosemary Sullivan, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

Karin Wieland and Shelly Frisch, Dietrich and Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives



Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Leo Damrosch, Eternity’s Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William Blake

Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts

Colm Tóibín, On Elizabeth Bishop

James Wood, The Nearest Thing to Life



Paul Beatty, The Sellout

Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies

Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth

Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno

Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen



Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Rome

Ari Berman, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America

Jill Leovy, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Brian Seibert, What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing



Ross Gay, Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude

Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn

Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things

Sinéad Morrissey, Parallax and Selected Poems

Frank Stanford, What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford


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