John Leonard Award

The National Book Critics Circle announces in 2013 the creation of the John Leonard Award, a new prize honoring an author’s first book, named after one of the most energetic and significant critical voices in American letters.


2015 selection

Night at the Fiestas: Stories

John Leonard Award 2015

by Kirstin Valdez Quade

Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize

"[A] sparkling debut collection…features dreamers and schemers whose lives pulsate with wild hopes, hard luck, stunning secrets, and saving...

2014 selection


National Book Award for Fiction 2014, John Leonard Award 2014

by Phil Klay

Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction · Winner of the John Leonard First Book Prize · Selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book ReviewTimeNewsweekThe...

2013 selection

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

John Leonard Award 2013

by Anthony Marra

New York Times Notable Book of the Year * Washington Post Top Ten Book of the Year

In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the...