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Book Awards: National Book Critics Circle

Various book awards and links to the books in our collection. Happy reading!

About the award

National Book Critics CircleThe National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature. The National Book Critics Circle awards are given each March and honor literature published in the United States in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. These are the only national literary awards chosen by critics themselves.

NBCC Awards

2020 Fiction Hamnet Maggie O'Farrell
  Non-fiction Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire Tom Zoellner
  Autobiography Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning Cathy Park Hong
  Biography Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World Amy Stanley
  Criticism Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration Nicole R. Fleetwood
  Poetry Here Is The Sweet Hand francine j. harris
2019 Fiction Everything Inside Edwidge Danticat
  Non-fiction Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland Patrick Radden Keefe
  Autobiography Know My Name Chanel Miller
  Biography The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth Josh Levin
  Criticism Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval  Saidiya Hartman
  Poetry Magical Negro Morgan Parker
2018    Fiction Milkman Anna Burns
  Non-fiction Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afganistan Steve Coll
  Autobiography Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous  Christopher Bonanos
  Biography  Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home Nora Krug
  Criticism Feel Free: Essays Zadie Smith
  Poetry The Carrying Ada Limon
2017      Fiction Improvement Joan Silber
  Non-fiction The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America Frances FitzGerald
  Autobiography   NIne Continents: A Memoir in and out of China Xiaolu Guo
  Biography Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder Ruth Franklin
  Criticism You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives,
Trainwrecks & Other Mixed Messages
Carino Chocano



Layli Long Soldier

2016      Fiction LaRose Louise Erdrich
  Non-fiction Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City David Brion Davis
  Autobiography Lab Girl Hope Jahren
  Biography Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life Ruth Franklin
  Criticism White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide Ellen Willis


House of Lords and Commons

Ishion Hutchinson

2015   Fiction The Sellout Paul Beatty


Dreamland: The True Story of
America's Opiate Epidemic

Sam Quinones




Margot Jefferson

  Biography Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary
Lives of Mary Wollestonecraft and
Her Daughter Mary Shelley
John Lahr
  Criticism The Argonauts Maggie Nelson
  Poetry Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude Ross Gay
2014      Fiction Lila Marilynne Robinson
  Non-fiction The Problem of Slavery David Brion Davis
  Autobiography Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Roz Chast
  Biography Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh John Lahr
  Criticism The Essential Ellen Willis Ellen Willis
  Poetry Citizen: An American Lyric Claudia Rankine


2013    Fiction Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk                    Ben Fountain
  Non-fiction Far From the Tree Andrew Solomon
  Biography The Passage of Power Robert A Caro
  Autobiography Swimming Studies Leanne Shapton
  Criticism Stranger Magic Marina Warner
  Poetry Useless Landscape DA Powell
2012  Fiction A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan
  Non-fiction The Warmth of Other Suns Isabel Wilkerson
  Biography How To Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne... Sarah Bakewell
  Autobiography    Half a Life Darin Strauss
  Criticism One with Others CD Wright
  Poetry Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics Clare Cavanagh