National Book Critics Circle Finalists Announced


It’s award season, not just for movies, but for books as well. Yesterday, the National Book Critics Circle announced its finalists for the 2012 publishing year.  Since 1976, the  National Book Critics Circle has given the award in order “to promote the finest books and reviews published in English.”  The American organization has selected thirty books eligible for a total of six prizes.  Those six categories are autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Two of the titles in contention have already received much critical and popular acclaim, Katherine Boo’s  Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. 


and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk  by Ben Fountain


Other Fiction Finalists:

Laurent Binet’s HHhH, about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich

Zadie Smith’s London-set NW

Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son, a frightening look into Kim Jong Il’s North Korea. (Both Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and  Binet’s HHhH are first novels.)



Robert A. Caro’s The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson 

Tom Reiss’s The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo , about General Dumas, father of the famous novelist

Lisa Cohen’s All We Know: Three Lives  about early 20th-century trend setters Esther Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta and Madge Garland

Lisa Jarnot’s Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus: A Biography



My Poets by Maureen N. McLane

Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

In the House of the Interpreter by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid



Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations by David Ferry

Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys by D. A. Powell

Olives: Poems (Triquarterly) by A.E. Stallings



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

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen

For a complete list of finalists, click here.

The winners will be announced on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.