The National Book Critics Circle Awards
For more information about the National Book Critics Circle, click here.
   
2016
Autobiography: Lab girl by Hope Lahren
General Nonfiction: Evicted : poverty and profit in the American city by Matthew Desmond
Fiction: LaRose by Louise Erdrich
Biography: Shirley Jackson : a rather haunted life by Ruth Franklin
Poetry: House of lords and commons : poems by Ishion Hutchinson
Criticism: White rage : the unspoken truth of our racial divide by Carol Anderson
John Leonard Prize: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

2015

Autobiography: Negroland : a memoir by Margo Jefferson
General Nonfiction: Dreamland : the true tale of America's opiate epidemic by Sam Quinones
Fiction: The sellout : a novel by Paul Beatty
Biography: Romantic outlaws : the extraordinary lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon
Poetry: Catalogue of unabashed gratitude by Ross Gay
Criticism: The argonauts by Maggie Nelson
John Leonard Prize: Night at the Fiestas : stories by Kirstin Valdez Quade

2014
Autobiography: Can't we talk about something more pleasant? : a memoir by Roz Chast
General Nonfiction: The problem of slavery in the age of emancipation by David Brion Davis
Fiction: Lila by Marilynne Robinson
Biography: Tennessee Williams : mad pilgrimage of the flesh by John Lahr
Poetry: Citizen : an American lyric by Claudia Rankine
Criticism: The Essential Ellen Willis by Ellen Willis
John Leonard Prize: Redeployment by Phil Klay

2013
Autobiography: Farewell, Fred Voodoo : a letter from Haiti by Amy Wilentz
General Nonfiction: Five days at Memorial : life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital by Sheri Fink
Fiction: Americanah : a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Biography: Jonathan Swift : his life and his world by Leo Damrosch
Poetry: Metaphysical dog by Frank Bidart
Criticism: Distant reading by Franco Moretti

2012
Autobiography: Swimming studies by Leanne Shapton
General Nonfiction: Far from the tree : parents, children and the search for identity by Andrew Solomon
Fiction: Billy Lynn's long halftime walk by Ben Fountain
Biography: The years of Lyndon Johnson, volume 4 : the passage of power by Robert Caro
Poetry: Useless landscape, or, A guide for boys by D. A. Powell
Criticism: Stranger magic : charmed states and the Arabian Nights by Marina Warner

2011
Autobiography: The memory palace by Mira Bartók
General Nonfiction: Liberty's exiles : American loyalists in the revolutionary world by Maya Jasanoff
Fiction: Binocular vision : new & selected stories by Edith Pearlman
Biography: George F. Kennan : an American life by John Lewis Gaddis
Poetry: Space, in chains by Laura Kasischke
Criticism: Otherwise known as the human condition : selected essays and reviews by Geoff Dyer

2010
Autobiography:  Half a life by Darin Strauss
Nonfiction:  The warmth of other suns : the epic story of America's great migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Fiction:  A visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Biography:  How to live : or, A life of Montaigne, in one question and twenty attempts at an answer by Sarah Bakewell
Poetry:  One with others : a little book of her days by C. D. Wright
Criticism:  Lyric poetry and modern politics : Russia, Poland, and the West by Clare Cavanagh

2009
Autobiography:  Somewhere towards the end by Diana Athill
Nonfiction:  The age of wonder : how the romantic generation discovered the beauty and terror of science by Richard Holmes
Fiction:  Wolf Hall : a novel by Hilary Mantel
Biography:  Cheever : a life by Blake Bailey
Poetry:  Versed by Rae Armantrout
Criticism:  Notes from no man's land: American essays by Eula Biss

2008
Autobiography:  My father's paradise : a son's search for his Jewish past in Kurdish Iraq by Ariel Sabar
Nonfiction:  The forever war by Dexter Filkins
Fiction:  2666 by Roberto Bolaño
Biography:  The world is what it is : the authorized biography of V.S. Naipaul by Patrick French
Poetry:  Half of the world in light : new and selected poems by Juan Felipe Herrera; and Sleeping it off in Rapid City by August Kleinzahler
Criticism:  Children's literature : a reader's history, from Aesop to Harry Potter by Seth Lerer


2007
Autobiography:  Brother, I'm dying by Edwidge Danticat
Nonfiction:  Medical apartheid : the dark history of medical experimentation on Black Americans from colonial times to the present by Harriet Washington
Fiction:  The brief wondrous life Of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Biography:  Stanley : the impossible life of Africa’s greatest explorer by Tim Jeal
Poetry:  Elegy by Mary Jo Bang
Criticism:  The rest is noise : listening to the twentieth century by Alex Ross

2006
Fiction:  The inheritance of loss by Kiran Desai
Nonfiction:  Rough crossings : Britain, the slaves and the American Revolution by Simon Schama
Biography:  James Tiptree, Jr. : the double life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips
Memoir/Autobiography:  The lost : a search for six of six million by Daniel Mendelsohn
Poetry:  Tom Thomson in purgatory by Troy Jollimore
Criticism:  Everything that rises : a book of convergences by Lawrence Weschler

2005
Fiction:  The march : a novel by E. L. Doctorow
General Nonfiction:  Voices from Chernobyl : the oral history of a nuclear disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
Biography:  American Prometheus : the triumph and tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
Autobiography:  Them : a memoir of parents by Francine du Plessix Gray
Poetry:  Refusing heaven : poems by Jack Gilbert
Criticism:  The undiscovered country : poetry in the age of tin by William Logan

2004
Fiction: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
General Nonfiction: The Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch
Biography/Autobiography: De Kooning : an American master by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan
Poetry: The school among the ruins : poems, 2000-2004 by Adrienne Rich
Criticism: Where you're at : notes from the frontline of a hip-hop planet by Patrick Neate

2003
Fiction:  The known world by Edward P. Jones
General Nonfiction:  Sons of Mississippi : a story of race and its legacy by Paul Hendrickson
Biography and Autobiography:  Khrushchev : the man and his era by William Taubman
Poetry:  Columbarium by Susan Stewart
Criticism:  River of shadows : Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild west by Rebecca Solnit

2002
Fiction:  Atonement : a novel by Ian McEwan
General Nonfiction:  "A problem from hell" : America and the age of genocide by Samantha Power
Biography and Autobiography:  Charles Darwin, volume 2 : the power of place by Janet Browne
Poetry:  Early occult memory systems of the lower midwest by B. H. Fairchild
Criticism:  Tests of time : essays by William Gass

2001
Fiction:  Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald
General Nonfiction:  Double fold : libraries and the assault on paper by Nicholas Baker
Biography and Autobiography: Boswell's presumptuous task : the making of the life of Dr. Johnson by Adam Sisman
Poetry:  Saving lives : poems by Albert Goldbarth
Criticism:  The war against cliché : essays and reviews, 1971-2000 by Martin Amis

2000
Fiction:  Being dead by Jim Crace
General Nonfiction:  Newjack : guarding Sing-Sing by Ted Conover
Biography and Autobiography: Hirohito and the making of modern Japan by Herbert P. Bix
Poetry:  Carolina ghost woods : poems by Judy Jordan
Criticism:  Quarrel & quandary : essays by Cynthia Ozick

1999
Fiction: Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
General Nonfiction: Time, love, memory : a great biologist and his quest for the origins of behavior by Jonathan Weiner
Biography and Autobiography: The Hairstons : an American family in black and white by Henry Wiencek
Poetry: Ordinary words by Ruth Stone
Criticism: Selected non-fictions by Jorge Luis Borges

1998
Fiction: The love of a good woman : stories by Alice Munro
General Nonfiction: We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families : stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch
Biography and Autobiography: A beautiful mind : the life of mathematical genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash by Sylvia Nasar
Poetry: The bird catcher : poems by Marie Ponsot
Criticism: Visions of jazz : the first century by Gary Giddins

1997
Fiction: The blue flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
General Nonfiction:  The spirit catches you and you fall down : a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures by Anne Fadiman
Biography/ Autobiography: Ernie Pyle's war : America's eyewitness to World War II by James Tobin
Poetry: Black zodiac by Charles Wright
Criticism: Making waves by Mario Vargas Llosa

1996
Fiction: Women in their beds : new and selected stories by Gina Berriault
General Non-Fiction: Bad land : an American romance by Jonathan Raban
Biography/Autobiography: Angela's ashes : a memoir by Frank McCourt
Poetry: Sun under wood : new poems by Robert Hass
Criticism: Finding a form : essays by William Gass

1995
Fiction: Mrs. Ted Bliss by Stanley Elkin
General Non-Fiction: A civil action by Jonathon Harr
Biography/Autobiography Savage art : a biography of Jim Thompson by Robert Polito
Poetry: Time & money : new poems by William Matthews
Criticism: The forbidden best-sellers of pre-revolutionary France by Robert Darnton

1994
Fiction: The stone diaries by Carol Shields
General Non-Fiction: The rape of Europa : the fate of Europe's treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War by Lynn H. Nicholas
Biography/Autobiography: Shot in the heart by Mikal Gilmore
Poetry: Rider by Mark Rudman
Criticism: The culture of bruising : essays on prizefighting literature, and modern American culture by Gerald Early

1993
Fiction: A lesson before dying by Ernest J. Gaines
General Non-Fiction: The land where the blues began by Alan Lomax
Biography/Autobiography:  Genet : a biography by Edmund White
Poetry: My Alexandria : poems by Mark Doty
Criticism:  Opera in America : a cultural history by John Dizikes

1992
Fiction: All the pretty horses by Cormac McCarthy
General Non-Fiction: Young men and fire by Norman Maclean
Biography/Autobiography:  Writing dangerously : Mary McCarthy and her world by Carol Brightman
Poetry: Collected shorter poems, 1946-1991 by Hayden Carruth
Criticism: Lincoln at Gettysburg : the words that remade America by Garry Wills

1991
Fiction: A thousand acres by Jane Smiley
General Non-Fiction: Backlash : the undeclared war against American women by Susan Faludi
Biography/Autobiography:  Patrimony : a true story by Philip Roth
Poetry: Heaven and earth : a cosmology : poems by Albert Goldbarth
Criticism:  Holocaust testimonies : the ruins of memory by Lawrence L. Langer

1990
Fiction: Rabbit at rest by John Updike
General Non-Fiction: The content of our character : a new vision of race in America by Shelby Steele
Biography/Autobiography:  The years of Lyndon Johnson, vol. 2 : Means of ascent by Robert A. Caro
Poetry: Bitter angel : poems by Amy Gerstler
Criticism:  Encounters and reflections : art in the historical present by Arthur C. Danto

1989
Fiction: Billy Bathgate by E. L. Doctorow
General Non-Fiction: The broken cord by Michael Dorris
Biography/Autobiography:  A first-class temperament; the emergence of Franklin Roosevelt by Geoffrey C. Ward
Poetry: Transparent gestures by Rodney Jones
Criticism: Not by fact alone : essays on the writing and reading of history by John Clive

1988
Fiction: The middleman and other stories by Bharati Mukherjee
General Non-Fiction: Parting the waters : America in the King years, 1954-63 by Taylor Branch
Biography/Autobiography: Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellmann
Poetry: The one day : a poem in three parts by Donald Hall
Criticism: Works and lives : the anthropologist as author by Clifford Geertz

1987
Fiction: The counterlife by Philip Roth
General Non-Fiction: The making of the atomic bomb by Richard Rhodes
Biography/Autobiography:  Chaucer : his life, his works, his world by Donald R. Howard
Poetry: Flesh and blood by C. K. Williams
Criticism:  Dance writings by Edwin Denby, edited by Robert Cornfield and William MacKay

1986
Fiction: Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price
General Non-Fiction: War without mercy : race and power in the Pacific war by John W. Dower
Biography/Autobiography: Tombee : portrait of a cotton planter by Theodore Rosengarten
Poetry: Wild gratitude : poems by Edward Hirsch
Criticism: Less than one : selected essays by Joseph Brodsky

1985
Fiction: The accidental tourist by Anne Tyler
General Non-Fiction: Common ground : a turbulent decade in the lives of three American families by J. Anthony Lukas
Biography/Autobiography Henry James : a life by Leon Edel
Poetry: The triumph of Achilles by Louise Gluck
Criticism: Habitations of the word : essays by William H. Gass

1984
Fiction: Love medicine : a novel by Louise Erdrich (new edition, 1993)
General Non-Fiction: Weapons and hope by Freeman Dyson
Biography/Autobiography: Dostoevsky, the years of ordeal, 1850-1859 by Joseph Frank
Poetry: The dead and the living : poems by Sharon Olds
Criticism: Twentieth century pleasures : prose on poetry by Robert Hass

1983
Fiction: Ironweed : a novel by William Kennedy
General Non-Fiction: The price of power : Kissinger in the Nixon White House by Seymour M. Hersch
Biography/Autobiography:  Minor characters by Joyce Johnson
Poetry: The changing light at Sandover : including the whole of the Book of Ephraim, Mirabell's books of number, Scripts for the pageant, and a new coda, the Higher keys by James Merrill
Criticism: Hugging the shore : essays and criticism by John Updike

1982
Fiction: George Mills by Stanley Elkin
General Non-Fiction: The years of Lyndon Johnson, volume 1 : the path to power by Robert Caro
Poetry: Antarctic traveler : poems by Katha Pollitt
Criticism: The second American revolution and other essays (1976-1982) by Gore Vidal

1981
Fiction: Rabbit is rich by John Updike
General Non-Fiction: The mismeasure of man by Stephen Jay Gould
Poetry: A coast of trees : poems by A. R. Ammons
Criticism: A Virgil Thomson reader by Virgil Thomson