NBCC Announces Finalists…

Do you haunt the prize lists like I do? Well, if you do, then you’ve probably already seen the finalists for the National Book Critics Circle. If not, I thought I’d share them with you:


  • Somewhere Towards the End, by Diana Athill (Norton)
  • Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love, by Debra Gwartney (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Lit, by Mary Karr (Harper)
  • Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, by Kati Marton (Simon & Schuster)
  • City Boy, by Edmund White (Bloomsbury)


  • Cheever: A Life, by Blake Bailey (Knopf)
  • Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, by Brad Gooch (Little, Brown)
  • Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, by Benjamin Moser (Oxford University Press)
  • Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone, by Stanislao G. Pugliese (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line, by Martha A. Sandweiss (Penguin Press)


  • Notes From No Man’s Land: American Essays, by Eula Biss (Graywolf Press)
  • Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry, by Stephen Burt (Graywolf Press)
  • Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression, by Morris Dickstein (Norton)
  • Heroes and Villains: Essays on Music, Movies, Comics, and Culture, by David Hajdu (Da Capo Press)
  • Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music, by Greg Milner (Faber)


  • American Salvage, by Bonnie Jo Campbell (Wayne State University Press)
  • The Book of Night Women, by Marlon James(Riverhead)
  • Blame, by Michelle Huneven (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG)
  • Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel (Holt)
  • Lark and Termite, by Jayne Anne Phillips (Knopf)


  • The Hindus: An Alternative History, by Wendy Doniger (Penguin Press)
  • Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City, by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)
  • The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, by Richard Holmes (Pantheon)
  • Strength in What Remains, by Tracy Kidder (Random House)
  • Imperial, by William T. Vollmann (Viking)


  • Versed, by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan)
  • A Village Life, by Louise Glück (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Chronic, by D.A. Powell (Graywolf Press)
  • Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2008, by Eleanor Ross Taylor (Louisiana State University Press)
  • Museum of Accidents, by Rachel Zucker (Wave Books)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing:

  • Joan Acocella


  • Michael Antman
  • William Deresiewicz
  • Donna Seaman
  • Wendy Smith

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award:

  • Joyce Carol Oates

Have you read any of these? Learn more about the NBCC awards by visiting their blog.

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    • Sandra on January 29, 2010 at 15:11

    Funny, you beat me by probably a few hours posting these. 🙂

    • Jenners on January 29, 2010 at 17:49

    I read exactly one — “Lit” by Mary Karr.

    • Wendy on January 31, 2010 at 09:06

    Sandra: LOL …

    Jenners: Well, that’s exactly one more than I’ve read *laughs*

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