2014 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists & Winners

NBCC Prizes Awarded in 2015 for the Prior Year

Author Toni Morrison -
Author Toni Morrison is the recipient of the 2014 Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle.. Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) finalists for outstanding books published in 2014 were announced on January 20, 2015, as were these three additional award recipients:

Alexandra Schwartz, Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing; Toni Morrison, Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award; Phil Klay, Redeployment; John Leonard Prize.

Read more about the NBCC Awards history, criteria and judging.

The complete list of finalsts in six categories follows; when announced, the winners will be denoted in bold.

2015 Events Around the 2014 NBCC Awards

A finalists’ reading will be held on March 11, also at 6:00 p.m. at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in New York City. The event is free and open to the public.

Winners of the National Book Critics Circle awards will be announced on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. also at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium, also free and open to the public.

NBCC Notable First

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric published by Graywolf Press was nominated in both the Poetry and Criticism categories, marking the first time in NBCC history a single book has been honored in two categories. According to Rigoberto Gonzalez, Chair of the Poetry committee, “Claudia Rankine’s Citizen is a book of prose poetry whose inventive composition and topical content invite readers to consider different avenues toward the urgent conversation about race and politics in America.

Rankine’s appearance on two separate categories is a testament to her book’s complexity, narrative reach and artistry,”.

2015 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE FINALISTS

AUTOBIOGRAPHY:

Blake Bailey, The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

(Bloomsbury)

Lacy M. Johnson, The Other Side (Tin House)

Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure (Random House)

Meline Toumani, There Was and There Was Not (Metropolitan Books)

BIOGRAPHY:

Ezra Greenspan, William Wells Brown: An African American Life (W.W. Norton & Co.)

S.C. Gwynne, Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson (Scribner)

John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Ian S. MacNiven, “Literchoor Is My Beat”: A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Miriam Pawel, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography (Bloomsbury)

CRITICISM:

Eula Biss, On Immunity: An Innoculation (Graywolf Press)

Vikram Chandra, Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty (Graywolf Press)

Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)

Lynne Tillman, What Would Lynne Tillman Do? (Red Lemonade)

Ellen Willis, The Essential Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz (University of Minnesota Press)

FICTION:

Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman (Grove Press)

Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead Books)

Lily King, Euphoria (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea (Riverhead Books)

Marilynne Robinson, Lila (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

GENERAL NONFICTION:

David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (Alfred A. Knopf)

Peter Finn and Petra Couvee, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book (Pantheon)

Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Henry Holt & Co.)

Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer (Belknap Press / Harvard University Press)

Hector Tobar, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

POETRY:

Saeed Jones, Prelude to Bruise (Coffee House Press)

Willie Perdomo, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon (Penguin Books)

Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)

Christian Wiman, Once in the West (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Jake Adam York, Abide (Southern Illinois University Press)

 

NONA BALAKIAN CITATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN REVIEWING

Alexandra Schwartz

Finalists:

Charles Finch

B. K. Fischer

Benjamin Moser

Lisa Russ Spaar

 

IVAN SANDROF LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Toni Morrison

 

JOHN LEONARD PRIZE

Phil Klay, Redeployment (Penguin Press)

 

NBCC AWARD NOMINEES & WINNERS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS

Read about the finalists and winners of the 2013 NBCC Awards and prizes.

Read about the finalists and winners of the 2012 NBCC Awards and prizes.

Continue Reading...