By January 25, 2007 4 Comments Read More →

National Book Critics Circle Announces Award Nominees

More catching up. Last Saturday night, the National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for their 2006 awards. Winners will be announced March 8. A partial but nearly complete list:


The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq, by Patrick Cockburn (Verso)

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade, by Anne Fessler (Penguin)

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (Penguin)

Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution, by Simon Schama (Ecco)

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East, by Sandy Tolan (Bloomsbury)


Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf)

The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai (Grove/Atlantic)

What Is the What, by Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s)

The Lay of the Land, by Richard Ford (Knopf)

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf)


The Afterlife, by Donald Antrim (Farrar)

Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton)

Stuart: A Life Backwards, by Alexander Masters (Delacorte)

The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, by Daniel Mendelsohn (HarperCollins)

Strange Piece of Paradise, by Teri Jentz (Farrar)


My Brother is Getting Arrested Again, by Daisy Fried (Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Tom Thomson in Purgatory, by Troy Jollimore (Margie/Intuit House)

Poems: 1945-1971, by Miltos Sachtouris (Archipelego)

Ooga-Booga, by Frederick Seidel (Farrar)

Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems, by W. D. Snodgrass (BOA)


While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within, by Bruce Bawer (Doubleday)

Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays, by Frederick Crews (Shoemaker & Hoard)

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, by Daniel Dennett (Viking)

On Looking: Essays, by Lia Purpura (Sarabande)

Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences, by Lawrence Wechsler (McSweeney’s)


The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher, by Debby Applegate (Doubleday)

At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968, by Taylor Branch (Simon & Schuster)

Flaubert: A Biography, by Frederick Brown (Little, Brown)

James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, by Julie Phillips (St. Martin’s)

A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler, by Jason Roberts (HarperCollins)

The nonfiction category includes the Booklist Top of the List winner (The Lemon Tree) and Editors’ Choice book (The Girls Who Went Away). The fiction category includes both the Top of the List winner (The Road) and three Editors’ Choice books (Half of a Yellow Sun, What Is the What, and The Lay of the Land). The biography category includes an Eds’ Choice book, too (Flaubert).

It’s a strong list of books, of course, but one of the fun parts of the NBCC picks is that there are always a couple of surprises. And if the choices tend toward the highbrow, well, these are book critics, after all. If you want populism, there’s always the Quills.



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

4 Comments on "National Book Critics Circle Announces Award Nominees"

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  1.' maggie says:

    I’m keeping my fingers, legs, arms, and eyes crossed for fellow Mississippian, Richard Ford. Ditto for Peyton Manning and the Colts. %-)

  2. Keir says:

    Cormac McCarthy and the Bears! (I’m guessing that’s the first time they’ve appeared in the same sentence together….)

  3.' MichaellaS says:

    G’day everyone, I figured it was about time I stopped lurking around and said hello. So here is my very first post and hopefully the first of many…

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