National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalists 2016

This morning, the National Book Critics Circle announced this year’s finalists in all categories, as well as the winners of the John Leonard Prize for first books (Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing), the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award (Margaret Atwood), and the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing (Michelle Dean). Here’s the complete list of the NBCC Award finalists, linked to their Booklist reviews.



The Iceberg, by Marion Coutts

In Gratitude, by Jenny Diski

Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren

The Return, by Hisham Matar

The Song Poet, by Kao Kalia Yang


black elk joe jacksonBiography

Black Elk, by Joe Jackson

Guilty Thing, by Frances Wilson

Krazy, by Michael Tisserand

Moscow Nights, by Nigel Cliff

Shirley Jackson, by Ruth Franklin

against everything mark greifCriticism

Against Everything, by Mark Greif

Am I Alone Here? by Peter Orner

Looking for The Stranger, by Alice Kaplan

The Lonely City, by Olivia Laing

White Rage, by Carol Anderson


commonwealth ann patchettFiction

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

Imagine Me Gone, by Adam Haslett

LaRose, by Louise Erdrich

Moonglow, by Michael Chabon

Swing Time, by Zadie Smith


dark money jane mayerGeneral Nonfiction

Dark Money, by Jane Mayer

Evicted, by Matthew Desmond

Nothing Ever Dies, by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Stamped From the Beginning, byIbram X. Kendi

Writing to Save a Life, by John Edgar Wideman


at the foundling hospitalPoetry

At the Foundling Hospital, by Robert Pinsky

Blackacre, by Monica Youn

House of Lords and Commons, Ishion Hutchinson

Olio, by Tyehimba Jess

Works and Days, by Bernadette Mayer






About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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