National Book Critics Circle Award

The National Book Critics Circle Awards are a set of annual American literary awards by the National Book Critics Circle to promote "the finest books and reviews published in English". It honors reading, criticism and literature since 1974.
There are six awards to books published in the U.S. during the preceding calendar year, in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Memoir/Autobiography, Biography, and Criticism.

 

for Biography category winners

2015 selection

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2015

by Charlotte Gordon

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SEATTLE TIMES

This groundbreaking dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist and the daughter she...


2014 selection

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2014

by John Lahr

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner: Biography Category

National Book Award Finalist

2015 Winner of the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography

American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Harold D. Vursell...


2013 selection

Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2013

by Damrosch Leo

Jonathan Swift is best remembered today as the author of Gulliver’s Travels, the satiric fantasy that quickly became a classic and has remained in print for nearly three centuries. Yet Swift also wrote many...


2012 selection

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson IV

The Years of Lyndon Johnson #4

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2012, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 2012

by Robert A. Caro

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD,  THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE, THE MARK LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE, THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY AMERICAN HISTORY BOOK PRIZE

 ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TEN...


2011 selection

George F. Kennan: An American Life

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2012, National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2011

by John Lewis Gaddis

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

Drawing on extensive interviews with George Kennan and exclusive...


2009 selection

Cheever

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2009

by Blake Bailey

John Cheever spent much of his career impersonating a perfect suburban gentleman, the better to become one of the foremost chroniclers of postwar America. Written with unprecedented access to essential sources—including...


2008 selection

The World Is What It Is

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2008

by Patrick French

The first major biography of V.S. Naipaul, the controversial and enigmatic Nobel laureate: a stunning writer whose only stated ambition was greatness, in pursuit of which goal nothing else was sacred.

Beginning...


2007 selection

Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2007

by Tim Jeal

"A magnificent new life . . . [and] a superb adventure story. . . . There have been many biographies of Stanley, but Jeal's is the most felicitous, the best informed, the most complete and readable and exhaustive,...


2006 selection

James Tiptree, Jr.

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2006

by Julie Phillips

James Tiptree, Jr. burst onto the science fiction scene in the 1970s with a series of hard-edged, provocative short stories. Hailed as a brilliant masculine writer with a deep sympathy for his female characters,...


2005 selection

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Duff Cooper Prize 2008, Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2006, National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2005

by Martin J. Sherwin & Kai Bird

J. Robert Oppenheimer is one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war, and who later found himself confronting...


for Biography/Autobiography category winners

2003 selection

Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2004, National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 2003

by William Taubman

Shortlisted for the National Books Critics Circle Award: "The book is a gift, as fascinating as it is important."—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs The definitive biography of the mercurial Soviet leader who...


2002 selection

Charles Darwin: The Power of Place

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 2002

by Janet Browne

In 1858 Charles Darwin was forty-nine years old, a gentleman scientist living quietly at Down House in the Kent countryside, respected by fellow biologists and well liked among his wide and distinguished circle...


2000 selection

Hirohito And The Making Of Modern Japan

Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction 2001, National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 2000

by Herbert P. Bix

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

In this groundbreaking biography of the Japanese emperor Hirohito, Herbert P. Bix offers the first complete, unvarnished look at the enigmatic leader whose sixty-three-year reign...


1998 selection

A Beautiful Mind

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 1998

by Sylvia Nasar

In this powerful and dramatic biography Sylvia Nasar vividly recreates the life of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by schizophrenia and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness,...


1996 selection

Angela's Ashes

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 1997, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 1996, National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 1996

by Frank McCourt

A Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela’s Ashes is Frank McCourt’s masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive...


1994 selection

Shot in the Heart

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 1994, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 1994

by Mikal Gilmore

Gary Gilmore, the infamous murderer immortalized by Norman Mailer in The Executioner's Song, campaigned for his own death and was executed by firing squad in 1977. Writer Mikal Gilmore is his younger brother....


1993 selection

Genet: A Biography

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 1993

by Edmund White

In this revelatory biography of Jean Genet, we have the first full-scale life of one of the great -- and controversial -- figures of twentieth-century literature. Edmund White shows us the writer in all his...


1990 selection

Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson II

The Years of Lyndon Johnson #2

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 1990

by Robert A. Caro

Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson, which began with the greatly acclaimed The Path to Power, also winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, continues -- one of the richest, most intensive and most...


1989 selection

A First Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, 1905-1928

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 1989

by Geoffrey C. Ward

In this classic of American biography, based upon thousands of original documents, many never previously published, the prize-winning historian Geoffrey C. Ward tells the dramatic story of Franklin Roosevelt’s...


1988 selection

Oscar Wilde

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 1988

by Richard Ellmann

The biography sensitive to the tragic pattern of the story of a great subject: Oscar Wilde - psychologically and sexually complicated, enormously quotable, central to a alluring cultural world and someone whose...


1983 selection

Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography 1983

by Joyce Johnson

Jack Kerouac. Allen Ginsberg. William S. Burroughs. LeRoi Jones. Theirs are the names primarily associated with the Beat Generation. But what about Joyce Johnson (nee Glassman), Edie Parker, Elise Cowen, Diane...


for Criticism category winners

2015 selection

The Argonauts

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2015

by Maggie Nelson

An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family

Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely...


2013 selection

Distant Reading

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2013

by Franco Moretti

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD 

How does a literary historian end up thinking in terms of z-scores, principal component analysis, and clustering coefficients? The essays in Distant Reading...


2011 selection

Otherwise Known as the Human Condition

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2011

by Geoff Dyer

*Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism*

*A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice*

*A New York Times Top 10 Nonfiction Book of the Year, as selected by Dwight Garner*

Geoff Dyer has...


2009 selection

Notes from No Man's Land

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2009

by Eula Biss

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism

Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

A frank and fascinating exploration of race and racial identity

Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays...


2007 selection

The Rest Is Noise

Guardian First Book Award 2008, National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2007

by Alex Ross

The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward...


2005 selection

The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2005

by William Logan

William Logan has been called both the "preeminent poet-critic of his generation" and the "most hated man in American poetry." For more than a quarter century, in the keen-witted and bare-knuckled reviews that...


2003 selection

River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2003

by Rebecca Solnit

The world as we know it today began in California in the late 1800s, and Eadweard Muybridge had a lot to do with it. This striking assertion is at the heart of Rebecca Solnit’s new book, which weaves together...


2001 selection

The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2001

by Martin Amis

Is there anything that Martin Amis can’t write about? In this virtuosic, career-spanning collection he takes on James Joyce and Elvis Presley, Nabokov and English football, Jane Austen and Penthouse Forum,...


2000 selection

Quarrel & Quandary: Essays

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2000

by Cynthia Ozick

In her new collection of essays, Cynthia Ozick, everywhere acclaimed as a critic, novelist, and storyteller, examines some of the world's most illustrious writers and their work, tackles compelling contemporary...


1998 selection

Visions of Jazz: The First Century

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1998

by Gary Giddins

Poised to become a classic of jazz literature, Visions of Jazz: The First Century offers seventy-nine chapters illuminating the lives of virtually all the major figures in jazz history. From Louis Armstrongs...


1997 selection

Making Waves

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1997

by Mario Vargas Llosa & John King

Spanning thirty years of writing, Making Waves traces the development of Mario Vargas Llosa's thinking on politics and culture, and shows the breadth of his interests and passions. Featured here are astute meditations...


1996 selection

Finding a Form: Essays

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1996

by William H. Gass

From the author of The Tunnel comes a new collection of essays, his first in eight years, on art, writing, nature and culture. This book is by one of the most important and briliant thinkers at work today.


1992 selection

Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America

Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction 1993, National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1992

by Garry Wills

The power of words has rarely been given a more compelling demonstration than in the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln was asked to memorialize the gruesome battle. Instead, he gave the whole nation "a new birth of...


1983 selection

Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1983

by John Updike

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

 

“Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea,” writes John Updike in his Foreword to this collection...


1979 selection

The Gnostic Gospels

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1979

by Elaine Pagels

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

The Gnostic Gospels is a landmark study of the long-buried roots of Christianity, a work of luminous scholarship and wide popular...


1977 selection

On Photography

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1977

by Susan Sontag

Winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Criticism.

One of the most highly regarded books of its kind, On Photography first appeared in 1977 and is described by its author as "a progress of essays...


1976 selection

The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1976

by Bruno Bettelheim

Bruno Bettelheim was one of the great child psychologists of the twentieth century and perhaps none of his books has been more influential than this revelatory study of fairy tales and their universal importance...


1975 selection

The Great War and Modern Memory

National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 1975

by Paul Fussell

The year 2000 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of The Great War and Modern Memory, winner of the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and recently named by the Modern...


for Fiction category winners

2015 selection

The Sellout

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2015

by Paul Beatty

Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

Named one of the best books of 2015 by The New York Times Book Review and the Wall Street Journal

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing...


2014 selection

Lila

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2014

by Marilynne Robinson

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

National Book Award Finalist

A new American classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead and Housekeeping

Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists...


2013 selection

Americanah

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2013

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

One of The New York Times's Ten Best Books of the Year

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

An NPR "Great Reads" Book, a Chicago Tribune Best Book, a Washington Post Notable Book, a Seattle...


2012 selection

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize 2012, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2012, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction 2012

by Ben Fountain

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and a finalist for the National Book Award!

From the PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, Brief Encounters...


2010 selection

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2011, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2010, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction 2010

by Jennifer Egan

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner

PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

A New York Times Book Review Best Book

One of the Best Books of the Year: Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast,...


2009 selection

Wolf Hall

Walter Scott Prize 2010, Man Booker Prize 2009, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2009

by Hilary Mantel

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster....


2008 selection

2666

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2008

by Roberto Bolano & Natasha Wimmer

THE POSTHUMOUS MASTERWORK FROM "ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL MODERN WRITERS" (JAMES WOOD, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW)

Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño's life, 2666 was greeted across...


2007 selection

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2008, Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction 2008, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2007, Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize 2007

by Junot Diaz

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of...


2006 selection

The Inheritance of Loss

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2006

by Kiran Desai

In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The...


2005 selection

The March: A Novel

PEN/Faulkner Award 2006, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2005

by E.L. Doctorow

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

WINNER OF THE PEN/FAULKNER AWARD

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In 1864, Union general William Tecumseh Sherman marched his sixty thousand troops through Georgia to the...


2004 selection

Gilead

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2005, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2004

by Marilynne Robinson

The 2004 Pulitzer Prize winning novel

A New York Times Top-Ten Book of 2004

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

Nearly 25 years after Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate...


2003 selection

The Known World

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2005, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2004, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2003

by Edward P. Jones

In one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Edward P. Jones, two-time National Book Award finalist, tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of...


2002 selection

Atonement: A Novel

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2002, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction 2002

by Ian Mcewan

The novel opens on a sweltering summer day in 1935 at the Tallis family’s mansion in the Surrey countryside. Thirteen-year-old Briony has written a play in honor of the visit of her adored older brother Leon;...


2001 selection

Austerlitz

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2002, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2001

by W.G. Sebald & James Wood

Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by “one of the most gripping writers imaginable” (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man’s search for the answer to his life’s central...


2000 selection

Being Dead

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2000

by Jim Crace

A haunting new novel about love, death, and the afterlife, from the author of Quarantine

Baritone Bay, mid-afternoon. A couple, naked, married almost thirty years, are lying murdered in the dunes.

"Their bodies...


1998 selection

The Love of a Good Woman: Stories

Trillium Book Award 1999, Giller Prize 1998, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1998

by Alice Munro

WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013

In eight new stories, a master of the form extends and magnifies her great themes--the vagaries of love, the passion that leads down unexpected paths, the chaos...


1997 selection

The Blue Flower

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1997

by Penelope Fitzgerald

In eighteenth-century Germany, the impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis seeks his father's permission to wed his true philosophy -- a plain, simple child named...


1994 selection

The Stone Diaries: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1995, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1994

by Carol Shields & Penelope Lively

In celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of its original publication, Carol Shields's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is now available in a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition

One of the most successful and acclaimed...


1993 selection

A Lesson Before Dying: A Novel

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1993

by Ernest J. Gaines

A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor,...


1992 selection

All the Pretty Horses

The Border Trilogy #1

National Book Award for Fiction 1992, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1992

by Cormac Mccarthy

Now a major motion picture from Columbia Pictures starring Matt Damon, produced by Mike Nichols, and directed by Billy Bob Thornton.

The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy...


1991 selection

A Thousand Acres: A Novel

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1992, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1991

by Jane Smiley

A successful Iowa farmer decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes...


1990 selection

Rabbit at Rest

Rabbit Angstrom #4

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1991, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1990

by John Updike

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Howells Medal, and the National Book Critics Circle Award

 

In John Updike’s fourth and final novel about Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, the hero has acquired a Florida condo,...


1989 selection

Billy Bathgate: A Novel

PEN/Faulkner Award 1990, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1989

by E.L. Doctorow

To open this book is to enter the perilous, thrilling world of Billy Bathgate, the brazen boy who is accepted into the inner circle of the notorious Dutch Schultz gang. Like an urban Tom Sawyer, Billy takes...


1987 selection

The Counterlife

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1987

by Philip Roth

The Counterlife is a novel unlike any that Philip Roth has written before, a book of astonishing 180-degree turns, a book of conflicting perspectives and points of view, and, by far, Roth's most radical work...


1985 selection

The Accidental Tourist: A Novel

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1985

by Anne Tyler

Macon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary. He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously...


1981 selection

Rabbit Is Rich

Rabbit Angstrom #3

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1982, National Book Award for Fiction 1982, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1981

by John Updike

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award

 

The hero of John Updike’s Rabbit, Run, ten years after the events of Rabbit Redux, has come to enjoy considerable...


1978 selection

The Stories of John Cheever

National Book Award for Fiction 1981, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1979, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1978

by John Cheever

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

When The Stories of John Cheever was originally published, it became an immediate national bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize.  In the years since, it has...


1977 selection

Song of Solomon

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1977

by Toni Morrison

Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined...


1975 selection

Ragtime: A Novel

National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 1975

by E.L. Doctorow

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Published in 1975, Ragtime changed our very concept of what a novel could be. An extraordinary tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of...


for General Non-fiction category winners

2014 selection

The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2014

by David Brion Davis

Winner of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction 

Shortlisted for the 2014 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature

From the revered historian, the long-awaited conclusion of the magisterial...


2013 selection

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2013, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest 2013

by Sheri Fink

One of the New York Times’s Best Ten Books of the Year

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

Winner of the 2014 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, the...


2012 selection

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

Wellcome Book Prize 2014, Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction 2013, National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2012

by Andrew Solomon

From the National Book Award–winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression comes a monumental new work, a decade in the writing, about family. In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon tells the stories...


2011 selection

Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2011

by Maya Jasanoff

On November 25, 1783, the last British troops pulled out of New York City, bringing the American Revolution to an end. Patriots celebrated their departure and the confirmation of U.S. independence. But for tens...


2010 selection

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2010

by Isabel Wilkerson

One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of...


2009 selection

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2009

by Richard Holmes

The Age of Wonder is a colorful and utterly absorbing history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science. 

When young...


2008 selection

The Forever War

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2008

by Dexter Filkins

National Bestseller

One of the Best Books of the Year:

New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, and Time

 

An instant classic of war reporting, The Forever War is the definitive...


2007 selection

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2007

by Harriet A. Washington

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner (Nonfiction)

PEN/Oakland Award Winner

BCALA Nonfiction Award Winner

Gustavus Meyers Award Winner

From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black...


2006 selection

Rough Crossings

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2006

by Simon Schama

If you were black in America at the start of the Revolutionary War, which side would you want to win?

When the last British governor of Virginia declared that any rebel-owned slave who escaped and served the...


2004 selection

The Reformation

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2004

by Diarmaid MacCulloch

The Reformation and Counter-Reformation represented the greatest upheaval in Western society since the collapse of the Roman Empire a millennium before. The consequences of those shattering events are still...


2003 selection

Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2003

by Paul Hendrickson

They stand as unselfconscious as if the photograph were being taken at a church picnic and not during one of the pitched battles of the civil rights struggle. None of them knows that the image will appear in ...


2001 selection

Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2001

by Nicholson Baker

The ostensible purpose of a library is to preserve the printed word. But for fifty years our country’s libraries–including the Library of Congress–have been doing just the opposite, destroying hundreds...


2000 selection

Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 2000

by Ted Conover

Acclaimed journalist Ted Conover sets a new standard for bold, in-depth reporting in this first-hand account of life inside the penal system.

When Conover’s request to shadow a recruit at the New York State...


1999 selection

Time, Love , Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1999

by Jonathan Weiner

"A fascinating history--. Literate and authoritative--.Marvelously exciting." --The New York Times Book Review

Jonathan Weiner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Beak of the Finch, brings his brilliant reporting...


1998 selection

We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Guardian First Book Award 1999, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest 1998, National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1998

by Philip Gourevitch

An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity.

This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994,...


1997 selection

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest 1997, National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1997

by Anne Fadiman

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which...


1996 selection

Bad Land: An American Romance

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1996

by Jonathan Raban

Seduced by the government's offer of 320 acres per homesteader, Americans and Europeans rushed to Montana and the Dakotas to fulfill their own American dream in the first decade of this century. Raban's stunning...


1995 selection

A Civil Action

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1995

by Jonathan Harr

"The legal thriller of the decade." --Cleveland Plain Dealer

Now a Major Motion Picture!

In this true story of an epic courtroom showdown, two of the nation's largest corporations stand accused of causing the...


1994 selection

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1994

by Lynn H. Nicholas

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

The real story behind the major motion picture The Monuments Men. The cast of characters includes Hitler and Goering, Gertrude Stein and Marc Chagall--not to mention...


1991 selection

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1991

by Susan Faludi

Skillfully Probing the Attack on Women’s Rights

“Opting-out,” “security moms,” “desperate housewives,” “the new baby fever”—the trend stories of 2006 leave no doubt that American women are...


1986 selection

War without Mercy: PACIFIC WAR

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1986

by John Dower

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

 

AN AMERICAN BOOK AWARD FINALIST

 

Now in paperback, War Without Mercy has been hailed by The New York Times as “one of the most original and important books...


1985 selection

Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families

1983 selection

The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1983

by Seymour Hersh

Price of Power examines Henry Kissinger’s influence on the development of the foreign policy of the United States during the presidency of Richard Nixon.


1982 selection

The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson I

The Years of Lyndon Johnson #1

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1982

by Robert A. Caro

This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country. The Path to Power reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy,...


1981 selection

The Mismeasure of Man (Revised & Expanded)

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1981

by Stephen Jay Gould

The definitive refutation to the argument of The Bell Curve. When published in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the ringing answer to those who would classify people, rank...


1976 selection

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction 1976

by Maxine Hong Kingston

A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.


for Memoir/Autobiography category winners

2015 selection

Negroland: A Memoir

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2015

by Margo Jefferson

Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

New York Times: 100 Notable Books of 2015

New York Times: Dwight Garner’s Best Books of 2015

Washington Post:...


2013 selection

Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2013

by Amy Wilentz

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, this is a brilliant writer’s account of a long, painful, ecstatic—and unreciprocated—affair with a country that has long fascinated the...


2012 selection

Swimming Studies

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2012

by Leanne Shapton

Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award, Autobiography

Swimming Studies is a brilliantly original, meditative memoir that explores the worlds of competitive and recreational swimming. From her...


2011 selection

The Memory Palace

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2011

by Mira Bartok

In the tradition of The Glass Castle, two sisters confront schizophrenia in this poignant literary memoir about family and mental illness. Through stunning prose and original art, The Memory Palace captures...


2010 selection

Half a Life: A Memoir

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2010

by Darin Strauss

In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was...


2009 selection

Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2009, Costa Book Award for Biography 2008

by Diana Athill

The New York Times bestseller: a prize-winning, critically acclaimed memoir on life and aging —“An honest joy to read” (Alice Munro). Hailed as “a virtuoso exercise” (Sunday Telegraph), this book reflects...


2008 selection

My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2008

by Ariel Sabar

In a remote corner of the world, forgotten for nearly three thousand years, lived an enclave of Kurdish Jews so isolated that they still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Mostly illiterate, they were self-made...


2007 selection

Brother, I'm Dying

Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction 2008, National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2007

by Edwidge Danticat

From the age of four, award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat came to think of her uncle Joseph as her “second father,” when she was placed in his care after her parents left Haiti for America. And so she...


2006 selection

The Lost

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2006

by Daniel Mendelsohn

In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer's search for the truth behind his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic—part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly...


2005 selection

Them: A Memoir of Parents

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2005

by Francine du Plessix Gray

Tatiana du Plessix, the wife of a French diplomat, was a beautiful, sophisticated "white Russian" who had been the muse of the famous Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. Alexander Liberman, the ambitious son of...


for Poetry category winners

2014 selection

Citizen

National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry 2014, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry 2014

by Claudia Rankine

* Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry *

* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism * Winner of the NAACP Image Award...


2013 selection

Metaphysical Dog

National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry 2013

by Frank Bidart

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner

A National Book Award Finalist

A vital, searching new collection from one of finest American poets at work today

In "Those Nights," Frank Bidart writes: "We who could get...


2012 selection

Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys

National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry 2012

by D. A. Powell

*Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry*

I have this rearrangement to make:

symbolic death, my backward glance.

The way the past is a kind of future

leaning against the sporty hood....


2009 selection

Versed

2005 selection

Refusing Heaven

National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry 2005

by Jack Gilbert

More than a decade after Jack Gilbert’s The Great Fires, this highly anticipated new collection shows the continued development of a poet who has remained fierce in his avoidance of the beaten path. In Refusing...


1994 selection

Rider: The Rider Quintet, vol. 1