2017 National Book Critics Circle Finalists Announced

Earlier this morning, the National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its 2017 awards in fiction, nonfiction, memoir, biography, poetry, and criticism. Graywolf Press has the most nominees on the list and is also the publisher of Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado’s debut story collection, which took home the John Leonard Prize for best first book. To follow are this year’s finalists, linked to their Booklist reviews when available.

 

Fiction

 Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid

Improvement, by Joan Silber

 The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy

 The Ninth Hour, by Alice McDermott

Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward

 

Nonfiction

Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, by Kapka Kassabova

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes, by Adam Rutherford

 The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, by Frances FitzGerald

 The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, by Masha Gessen

 Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack Davis

 

Autobiography

Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery, by Henry Marsh

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir, by Thi Bui

The Girl From the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia, by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

 Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay

Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China, by Xiaolu Guo

 

Biography

Gorbachev: His Life and Times, by William Taubman

Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times, by Kenneth Whyte

The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography, by Edmund Gordon

 The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek, by Howard Markel

 Prairie Fires: The Life and Times of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser

 

 

Poetry

The Darkness of Snow, by Frank Ormsby

Directions for Use, by Ana Ristović

Earthling, by James Longenbach

Fourth Person Singular, by Nuar Alsadir

Whereas, by Layli Long Soldier

 

 

Criticism

The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story, by Edwidge Danticat

 Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News, by Kevin Young

Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History, by Camille Dungy

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, by Valeria Luiselli

 You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages, by Carina Chocano

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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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