'Ragtime' wins the National Book Critics Circle Award

'Ragtime' wins the National Book Critics Circle Award

On January 8, 1976, Ragtime by E.L. The book deals with race relations in the 1920s, mixing fictional characters with real figures from the era. The book was made into a 1981 movie and a musical in 1997. The book established Doctorow as a major contemporary novelist.

Doctorow was born in New York in 1931 and raised in the Bronx. An avid reader, he decided at age 9 to become a writer. He graduated from Kenyon College, then studied at Columbia. He worked as a reservations clerk at La Guardia Airport, then became a book editor, rising to editor-in-chief of the Dial Press by age 33. Meanwhile, he was writing novels on the side. He published his first, Welcome to Hard Times, in 1960. The book, about a frontier town, received little notice, as did his next book, Big as Life (1966). In 1969, he quit his job, moved to California with his wife and three kids, and began writing full time. His 1971 novel, The Book of Daniel, about the 1953 execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for espionage, was more successful, and the next, Ragtime, became a bestseller.

Doctorow continued writing and began teaching creative writing at Sarah Lawrence and NYU. He published several novels in the 1980s and 90s, including a coming-of-age gangster story, Billy Bathgate (1989, film 1991), and The Waterworks (1994), about 19th-century New York. He died in 2015.

READ MORE: The Roaring Twenties


The novel centers on a wealthy family living in New Rochelle, New York, referred to as Father, Mother, Mother's Younger Brother, Grandfather, and 'the little boy', Father and Mother's young son. The family business is the manufacture of flags and fireworks, an easy source of wealth due to the national enthusiasm for patriotic displays. Father joins Robert Peary's expedition to the North Pole, and his return sees a change in his relationship with his wife, who has experienced independence in his absence. Mother's Younger Brother is a genius at explosives and fireworks but is an insecure, unhappy character who chases after love and excitement. He becomes obsessed with the notorious socialite Evelyn Nesbit, stalking her and embarking on a brief, unsatisfactory affair with her.

Into this insecure setup comes an abandoned black child, then his severely depressed mother, Sarah. Coalhouse Walker, the child's father, visits regularly to win Sarah's affections. A professional musician, well dressed and well spoken, he gains the family's respect and overcomes their prejudice initially by playing ragtime music on their piano. Things go well until he is humiliated by a racist fire crew, led by Will Conklin, who vandalize his Model T Ford. He begins a pursuit of redress by legal action but discovers he cannot hope to win because of the inherent prejudice of the system. Sarah is killed in an attempt to aid him, and Coalhouse uses the money he was saving for their wedding to pay for an extravagant funeral.

Having exhausted legal resources, Coalhouse begins killing firemen and bombing firehouses to force the city to meet his demands: that his Model T be restored to its original condition and Conklin be turned over to him for justice. Mother unofficially adopts Sarah and Coalhouse's neglected child over Father's objections, putting strain on their marriage. With a group of angry young men, all of whom refer to themselves as "Coalhouse Walker", Coalhouse continues his vigilante campaign and is joined by Younger Brother, who brings his knowledge of explosives. Coalhouse and his gang storm the Morgan Library, taking the priceless collection hostage and wiring the building with dynamite. Father is drawn into the escalating conflict as a mediator, as is Booker T. Washington. Coalhouse agrees to exchange Conklin's life for safe passage for his men, who leave in his restored Model T. Coalhouse is then shot as he surrenders to the authorities.

Interwoven with this story is a depiction of life in the tenement slums of New York city, focused on an Eastern European immigrant referred to as Tateh, who struggles to support himself and his daughter after driving her mother off for accepting money for sex with her employer. The girl's beauty attracts the attention of Evelyn Nesbit, who provides financial support. When Tateh learns Nesbit's identity, however, he takes his daughter out of the city.

Tateh is a talented artist and earns a living cutting out novelty paper silhouettes on the street. He tries working in a factory, where he experiences a successful workers' strike, but becomes disillusioned when he sees it change little about the workers' lives, although in the final chapter he still describes himself as a socialist. He starts making and selling moving picture books to a novelty toy company, becoming a pioneer of animation in the motion picture industry. Tateh becomes wealthy and styles himself "the Baron" in order to move more easily through high society. He meets and falls in love with Mother, who marries him after Father is killed in the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. They adopt each other's children, as well as Coalhouse's son, and move to California.

Mixed into the interwoven stories are subplots following prominent figures of the day, including those named above as well as in the Historical figures section below.

The novel is unusual for the irreverent way that historical figures and fictional characters are woven into the narrative, making for surprising connections and linking different events and trains of thought about fame and success, on the one hand, and poverty and racism on the other. Harry Houdini plays a prominent yet incidental part, reflecting on success and mortality. Arch-capitalist financier J. P. Morgan, pursuing his complex delusions of grandeur, is delivered a plainly spoken comeuppance from down-to-earth Henry Ford. Socialite Evelyn Nesbit becomes involved with the slum family and is aided by the anarchist agitator Emma Goldman. The black moderate politician Booker T. Washington tries to negotiate with Coalhouse Walker, without success.

Other historical characters mentioned include the polar explorer Robert Peary and his black assistant Matthew Henson, the architect Stanford White, Nesbit's mentally unbalanced husband Harry Kendall Thaw (who murdered White for allegedly sexually assaulting Nesbit when she was 15), Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Countess Sophie Chotek, Sigmund Freud, who rides the Tunnel of Love at Coney Island with Carl Jung, Theodore Dreiser, Jacob Riis, and the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. Several real-life New York City officials also appear in the book: Manhattan District Attorney Charles S. Whitman and Police Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo.

The name Coalhouse Walker is a reference to Heinrich von Kleist's German novella Michael Kohlhaas (1811). The part of the story involving Coalhouse's humiliation and his increasingly unbalanced search for a dignified resolution closely follow the plot and details of the earlier work by Kleist. The connection was acknowledged by Doctorow, [3] but it is a matter of opinion among critics whether this constitutes literary adaptation or plagiarism. [4]

Fredric Jameson's 1991 book Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism devotes five pages to Doctorow's Ragtime, to illustrate the crisis of historiography and a resistance to interpretation. [6]


National book critics awards honor voices less often heard

The National Book Critics Circle has been presenting book awards for almost 50 years. Thursday night, for the first time, it presented them virtually.

It was a lively and sometimes moving ceremony, combining recorded and live segments. Before the awards, which honored books published during 2020, almost all of the 30 finalists appeared for readings from their books.

If the prizes had a recurring theme, it was the recognition of voices less often heard.

I’m a member of the 21-person board that selected most of this year’s prize recipients, in a Zoom call that ran just short of seven hours. We chose from 30 finalists, all extraordinary books, in six categories. A seventh book award, for best first book, is voted on among the group’s membership of about 600. The organization also presents an award for criticism written by one of its members and a lifetime achievement award.

The awards are the only American book prizes chosen by critics.

The winner for autobiography was Cathy Park Hong for Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, which combines personal essays and cultural criticism. In her acceptance, Hong dedicated her win to the eight women, six of them Asian American, who were murdered earlier this month in the Atlanta area: “Say their names.”

In biography, the prize went to Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World by Amy Stanley. It recounts the fascinating life of a 19th century woman who moved from a small fishing village to Edo at the time that city was transforming into the modern Tokyo.

Nicole R. Fleetwood won the award in the criticism category for her groundbreaking study of art created by prisoners, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

The fiction prize winner was Maggie O’Farrell for her novel Hamnet, a transcendent and gorgeously written study of grief and art whose main characters are the wife and young son of William Shakespeare.

In Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire, the winner for nonfiction, Tom Zoellner vividly illuminates a little-known chapter in the history of colonialism and slavery.

Poetry winner Francine J. Harris writes compellingly of the complex interplay among sexuality, race and power in the poems in Here Is the Sweet Hand.

The John Leonard Prize for a first book in any genre was awarded to Raven Leilani for her novel Luster, which the judges called a “compulsive” read about a young woman who is “a wonderfully depicted swirl of painting, video games, and longing.”

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in reviewing went to member Jo Livingstone, a culture staff writer at the New Republic, whose reviews won for their wide-ranging intelligence, insight and wit.

This year’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award (a prize that may be given to individuals or literary organizations) honored the Feminist Press. Now in its 50th year, the press has published works by such writers as Charlotte Perkins Gillman, Anita Hill, Grace Paley and Barbara Ehrenreich. The Feminist Press mission statement reads, “Celebrating our legacy, we lift up insurgent and marginalized voices from around the world to build a more just future.”


Contents

National Book Critics Circle Awards
Awarded for"the finest books and reviews published in English"
DateMarch, annual
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Book Critics Circle
First awarded1975 publications (1976)
Website bookcritics .org

Fiction Edit

Published
1975 E. L. Doctorow Ragtime
1976 John Gardner October Light
1977 Toni Morrison Song of Solomon
1978 John Cheever The Stories of John Cheever
1979 Thomas Flanagan The Year of the French
1980 Shirley Hazzard The Transit of Venus
1981 John Updike Rabbit Is Rich
1982 Stanley Elkin George Mills
1983 William Kennedy Ironweed
1984 Louise Erdrich Love Medicine
1985 Anne Tyler The Accidental Tourist
1986 Reynolds Price Kate Vaiden
1987 Philip Roth The Counterlife
1988 Bharati Mukherjee The Middleman and Other Stories
1989 E. L. Doctorow Billy Bathgate
1990 John Updike Rabbit at Rest
1991 Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres
1992 Cormac McCarthy All the Pretty Horses
1993 Ernest J. Gaines A Lesson Before Dying
1994 Carol Shields The Stone Diaries
1995 Stanley Elkin Mrs. Ted Bliss
1996 Gina Berriault Women in Their Beds
1997 Penelope Fitzgerald The Blue Flower
1998 Alice Munro The Love of a Good Woman
1999 Jonathan Lethem Motherless Brooklyn
2000 Jim Crace Being Dead
2001 W.G. Sebald Austerlitz
2002 Ian McEwan Atonement
2003 Edward P. Jones The Known World
2004 Marilynne Robinson Gilead
2005 E. L. Doctorow The March
2006 Kiran Desai The Inheritance of Loss
2007 Junot Diaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2008 Roberto Bolaño 2666
2009 Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall
2010 Jennifer Egan A Visit from the Goon Squad
2011 Edith Pearlman Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories
2012 Ben Fountain Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
2013 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Americanah
2014 Marilynne Robinson Lila
2015 Paul Beatty The Sellout
2016 Louise Erdrich LaRose
2017 Joan Silber Improvement
2018 Anna Burns Milkman
2019 Edwidge Danticat Everything Inside
2020 Maggie O’Farrell [8] Hamnet

General nonfiction Edit

Published
1975 R. W. B. Lewis Edith Wharton: A Biography
1976 Maxine Hong Kingston The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts
1977 Walter Jackson Bate Samuel Johnson
1978 Garry Wills Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence
1978 Maureen Howard Facts of Life
1979 Telford Taylor Munich: The Price of Peace
1980 Ronald Steel Walter Lippmann and the American Century
1981 Stephen Jay Gould The Mismeasure of Man
1982 Robert Caro The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
1983 Seymour M. Hersh The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House
1984 Freeman Dyson Weapons and Hope
1985 J. Anthony Lukas Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families
1986 John W. Dower War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War
1987 Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb
1988 Taylor Branch Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63
1989 Michael Dorris The Broken Cord
1990 Shelby Steele The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America
1991 Susan Faludi Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
1992 Norman Maclean Young Men and Fire
1993 Alan Lomax The Land Where the Blues Began
1994 Lynn H. Nicholas The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War
1995 Jonathan Harr A Civil Action
1996 Jonathan Raban Bad Land: An American Romance
1997 Anne Fadiman The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
1998 Philip Gourevitch We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families
1999 Jonathan Weiner Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior
2000 Ted Conover Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing
2001 Nicholson Baker Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper
2002 Samantha Power A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide
2003 Paul Hendrickson Sons of Mississippi
2004 Diarmaid MacCulloch The Reformation: A History
2005 Svetlana Alexievich Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
2006 Simon Schama Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution
2007 Harriet A. Washington Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present
2008 Dexter Filkins The Forever War
2009 Richard Holmes The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
2010 Isabel Wilkerson The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
2011 Maya Jasanoff Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
2012 Andrew Solomon Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
2013 Sheri Fink Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
2014 David Brion Davis The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation
2015 Sam Quinones Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic
2016 Matthew Desmond Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
2017 Frances FitzGerald The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
2018 Steve Coll Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
2019 Patrick Radden Keefe Say Nothing: The True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
2020 Tom Zoellner [8] Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire

Memoir/Autobiography Edit

Published
2005 Francine du Plessix Gray Them: A Memoir of Parents
2006 Daniel Mendelsohn The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million
2007 Edwidge Danticat Brother, I'm Dying
2008 Ariel Sabar My Father’s Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq
2009 Diana Athill Somewhere Towards the End
2010 Darin Strauss Half a Life
2011 Mira Bartók The Memory Palace
2012 Leanne Shapton Swimming Studies
2013 Amy Wilentz Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti
2014 Roz Chast Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
2015 Margo Jefferson Negroland
2016 Hope Jahren Lab Girl
2017 Xiaolu Guo Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China
2018 Nora Krug Belonging: A German Reckons With History and Home
2019 Chanel Miller Know My Name: A Memoir
2020 Cathy Park Hong [8] Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

Biography Edit

Published
2005 Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
2006 Julie Phillips James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon
2007 Tim Jeal Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer
2008 Patrick French The World is What it is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul
2009 Blake Bailey Cheever: A Life
2010 Sarah Bakewell How To Live, Or A Life Of Montaigne
2011 John Lewis Gaddis George F. Kennan: An American Life
2012 Robert A. Caro The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
2013 Leo Damrosch Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World
2014 John Lahr Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
2015 Charlotte Gordon Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley
2016 Ruth Franklin Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
2017 Caroline Fraser Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
2018 Christopher Bonanos Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous
2019 Josh Levin The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth
2020 Amy Stanley [8] Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World

Biography/Autobiography (discontinued) Edit

Published
1983 Joyce Johnson Minor Characters
1984 Joseph Frank Dostoevsky: The Years of Ordeal, 1850–1859
1985 Leon Edel Henry James: A Life
1986 Arnold Rampersad The Life of Langston Hughes, Vol. I: 1902-1941
1987 Donald R. Howard Chaucer: His Life, His Works, His World
1988 Richard Ellmann Oscar Wilde
1989 Geoffrey C. Ward A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt
1990 Robert A. Caro Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. II
1991 Philip Roth Patrimony: A True Story
1992 Carol Brightman Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World
1993 Edmund White Genet
1994 Mikal Gilmore Shot in the Heart
1995 Robert Polito Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson
1996 Frank McCourt Angela's Ashes
1997 James Tobin Ernie Pyle's War: America's Eyewitness to World War II
1998 Sylvia Nasar A Beautiful Mind
1999 Henry Wiencek The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White
2000 Herbert P. Bix Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan
2001 Adam Sisman Boswell's Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr.Johnson
2002 Janet Browne Charles Darwin: The Power of Place, Vol. II
2003 William Taubman Khrushchev: The Man and His Era
2004 Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan De Kooning: An American Master

Poetry Edit

Published
1975 John Ashbery Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror
1976 Elizabeth Bishop Geography III
1977 Robert Lowell Day by Day
1978 L. E. Sissman Hello, Darkness: The Collected Poems of L. E. Sissman
1979 Philip Levine Ashes: Poems New and Old and 7 Years From Somewhere
1980 Frederick Seidel Sunrise
1981 A.R. Ammons A Coast of Trees
1982 Katha Pollitt Antarctic Traveler
1983 James Merrill The Changing Light at Sandover
1984 Sharon Olds The Dead and the Living
1985 Louise Glück The Triumph of Achilles
1986 Edward Hirsch Wild Gratitude
1987 C.K. Williams Flesh and Blood
1988 Donald Hall That One Day
1989 Rodney Jones Transparent Gestures
1990 Amy Gerstler Bitter Angel
1991 Albert Goldbarth Heaven and Earth: A Cosmology
1992 Hayden Carruth Collected Shorter Poems 1946–1991
1993 Mark Doty My Alexandria
1994 Mark Rudman Rider
1995 William Matthews Time and Money
1996 Robert Hass Sun Under Wood
1997 Charles Wright Black Zodiac
1998 Marie Ponsot The Bird Catcher
1999 Ruth Stone Ordinary Words
2000 Judy Jordan Carolina Ghost Woods
2001 Albert Goldbarth Saving Lives
2002 B.H. Fairchild Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest
2003 Susan Stewart Columbarium
2004 Adrienne Rich The School Among the Ruins
2005 Jack Gilbert Refusing Heaven
2006 Troy Jollimore Tom Thomson in Purgatory
2007 Mary Jo Bang Elegy
2008 August Kleinzahler Sleeping it Off in Rapid City [a]
2008 Juan Felipe Herrera Half the World in Light [a]
2009 Rae Armantrout Versed
2010 C.D. Wright One With Others
2011 Laura Kasischke Space, In Chains
2012 D. A. Powell Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys
2013 Frank Bidart Metaphysical Dog
2014 Claudia Rankine Citizen: An American Lyric
2015 Ross Gay Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude
2016 Ishion Hutchinson House of Lords and Commons
2017 Layli Long Soldier Whereas
2018 Ada Limón The Carrying
2019 Morgan Parker Magical Negro
2020 Francine J. Harris [8] Here Is The Sweet Hand

Criticism Edit

Published
1975 Paul Fussell The Great War and Modern Memory
1976 Bruno Bettelheim The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
1977 Susan Sontag On Photography
1978 Meyer Schapiro Modern Art: 19th and 20th Centuries (Selected Papers, Volume 2)
1979 Elaine Pagels The Gnostic Gospels
1980 Helen Vendler Part of Nature, Part of Us: Modern American Poets
1981 Virgil Thomson A Virgil Thomson Reader
1982 Gore Vidal The Second American Revolution and Other Essays
1983 John Updike Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism
1984 Robert Hass Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry
1985 William H. Gass Habitations of the Word: Essays
1986 Joseph Brodsky Less Than One: Selected Essays
1987 Edwin Denby Dance Writings
1988 Clifford Geertz Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author
1989 John Clive Not by Fact Alone: Essays on the Writing and Reading of History
1990 Arthur C. Danto Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present
1991 Lawrence L. Langer Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory
1992 Garry Wills Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America
1993 John Dizikes Opera in America: A Cultural History
1994 Gerald Early The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture
1995 Robert Darnton The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France
1996 William H. Gass Finding a Form
1997 Mario Vargas Llosa Making Waves
1998 Gary Giddins Visions of Jazz: The First Century
1999 Jorge Luis Borges Selected Non-Fictions
2000 Cynthia Ozick Quarrel & Quandary
2001 Martin Amis The War Against Cliché: Essays and Reviews, 1971–2000
2002 William H. Gass Tests of Time
2003 Rebecca Solnit River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West
2004 Patrick Neate Where You're At: Notes From the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet
2005 William Logan The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin
2006 Lawrence Weschler Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences
2007 Alex Ross The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
2008 Seth Lerer Children's Literature: A Readers' History: Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter
2009 Eula Biss Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays
2010 Clare Cavanagh Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West
2011 Geoff Dyer Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews
2012 Marina Warner Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights
2013 Franco Moretti Distant Reading
2014 Ellen Willis The Essential Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis-Aronowitz
2015 Maggie Nelson The Argonauts
2016 Carol Anderson White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
2017 Carina Chocano You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages
2018 Zadie Smith Feel Free: Essays
2019 Saidiya Hartman Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Stories of Social Upheaval
2020 Nicole R. Fleetwood [8] Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

John Leonard Award Edit

Award for a best first book in any genre.

Published
2013 Anthony Marra A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, novel
2014 Phil Klay Redeployment, short story collection
2015 Kirstin Valdez Quade Night at the Fiestas, short story collection
2016 Yaa Gyasi Homegoing, novel
2017 Carmen Maria Machado Her Body and Other Parties, short story collection
2018 Tommy Orange There There, novel
2019 Sarah M. Broom The Yellow House_(book), memoir
2020 Raven Leilani [8] Luster

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

Ivan Sandrof was one founder of the National Book Critics Circle [1] and its first President. [9]

The Sandrof Award has also been presented as the "Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement in Publishing" and the "Ivan Sandrof Award, Contribution to American Arts & Letters".

1981 none
1982 Leslie A. Marchand [10]
1983 none
1984 The Library of America
1985 none
1986 none
1987 Robert Giroux
1988 none
1989 James Laughlin
1990 Donald Keene
1991 none
1992 Gregory Rabassa
1993 none
1994 William Maxwell
1995 Alfred Kazin
Elizabeth Hardwick
1996 Albert Murray
1997 Leslie Fiedler
1998 none
1999 Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Pauline Kael
2000 Barney Rosset
2001 Jason Epstein
2002 Richard Howard
2003 Studs Terkel
2004 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. founder of Algonquin Press, author and editor of more than 50 books
2005 Bill Henderson founder of Pushcart Press
2006 John Leonard
2007 Emilie Buchwald co-founder of the Milkweed Editions publishing house
2008 PEN American Center [11]
2009 Joyce Carol Oates
2010 Dalkey Archive Press
2011 Robert Silvers editor of New York Review of Books
2012 Sandra Gilbert
Susan Gubar
2013 Rolando Hinojosa-Smith
2014 Toni Morrison
2015 Wendell Berry
2016 Margaret Atwood
2017 John McPhee
2018 Arte Público Press
2019 Naomi Shihab Nye
2020 The Feminist Press at the City University of New York [8]

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

The Balakian Citation is annual. It honors Nona Balakian, who was one of three NBCC founders. [1] [12] For 43 years, Balakian was an editor on the staff of the New York Times Book Review. [13] Five finalists are announced each year, one of whom is selected as the winner of the citation. The award has been called "the most prestigious award for book criticism in the country". [14]

Published
1991 George Scialabba
1992 Elizabeth Ward
1993 Brigitte Frase
1994 JoAnn C. Gutin
1995 Laurie Stone
1996 Dennis Drabelle
1997 Thomas Mallon
1998 Albert Mobilio
1999 Benjamin Schwarz
2000 Daniel Mendelsohn
2001 Michael Gorra
2002 Maureen N. McLane
2003 Scott McLemee
2004 David Orr a contributor to The New York Times Book Review and Poetry Magazine
2005 Wyatt Mason a contributor to Harper's, The New Yorker, The New Republic
2006 Steven G. Kellman
2007 Sam Anderson of New York magazine
2008 Ron Charles of The Washington Post
2009 Joan Acocella of The New Yorker
2010 Parul Sehgal of Publishers Weekly
2011 Kathryn Schulz book critic at New York magazine
2012 William Deresiewicz a contributing writer at The Nation and The American Scholar
2013 Katherine A. Powers contributor to many national book review sections, including the Boston Globe and Washington Post. For the second time in the Balakian Citation history it includes a $1,000 cash prize.
2014 Alexandra Schwartz of The New Yorker
2015 Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post
2016 Michelle Dean literary critic for The New Yorker, New Republic and others
2017 Charles Finch literary critic for The New York Times and others
2018 Maureen Corrigan literary critic for NPR and The Washington Post
2019 Katy Waldman of The New Yorker
2020 Jo Livingstone [8] critic for The New Republic

2007 Edit

The 2007 award winners ( ) were announced on March 6, 2008. [15] [16]

Fiction Edit

    , Sacred Games (HarperCollins) Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead) , In the Country of Men (Dial Press) , The Gravedigger's Daughter (Ecco) , The Shadow Catcher (Simon and Schuster)

General nonfiction Edit

    , American Transcendentalism (Hill & Wang) , What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815–1848 (Oxford University Press) Harriet Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (Doubleday) , Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA (Doubleday) , The World Without Us (Thomas Dunne BKs/St. Martin’s)

Autobiography Edit

    , Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone (Free Press) Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying (Knopf) , The Journals of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973–1982 (Ecco) , Writing in an Age of Silence (Verso) , Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption and Death in Putin's Russia (Random House)

Biography Edit

    Tim Jeal, Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (Yale University Press) , Edith Wharton (Knopf) , Ralph Ellison (Knopf) , A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917–1932 (Knopf) , Thomas Hardy (Penguin Press)

Poetry Edit

    Mary Jo Bang, Elegy (Graywolf) , Modern Life (Graywolf) , Sleeping and Waking (Flood) , The Ballad of Jamie Allan (Flood) , New Poems (Archipelago)

Criticism Edit

    , Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints (Pantheon) , Once Upon a Quniceanera (Viking) , The Terror Dream (Metropolitan/Holt) , Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Alex Ross, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

2008 Edit

The 2008 winners ( ) were announced March 12, 2009. [17]

Fiction Edit

    Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) , The Lazarus Project (Riverhead) , Home (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) , Olive Kitteridge (Random House) , The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart (West Virginia University Press)

General nonfiction Edit

    , This Republic of Suffering (Knopf) Dexter Filkins, The Forever War (Knopf) , From Colony to Superpower: US Foreign Relations Since 1776 (Oxford University Press) , White Protestant Nation (Atlantic) , The Dark Side (Doubleday)

Autobiography Edit

    , Why I Came West (Houghton Mifflin) , The House on Sugar Beach (Simon and Schuster) , The Bishop’s Daughter (W.W. Norton) , The Eaves of Heaven (Harmony Books) Ariel Sabar, My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq (Algonquin)

Biography Edit

    , The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in an American Century (Penguin Press) Patrick French, The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul (Knopf) , Ida, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching (Amistad) , The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Norton) , White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson & Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Knopf)

Poetry Edit

    Juan Felipe Herrera, Half the World in Light (University of Arizona Press) [a] , Sources (Turtle Point Press) August Kleinzahler, Sleeping it Off in Rapid City (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) [a] (trans. John Ashbery), The Landscapist (Sheep Meadow Press) , Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press)

Criticism Edit

    , Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard (Metropolitan Books) , The Men in My Life (Boston Review/MIT) , Maimonides: The Life and World of One Of Civilization’s Greatest Minds (Doubleday) Seth Lerer, Children’s Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter (University of Chicago Press) , Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry (University of Michigan Press)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

2009 Edit

The 2009 winners ( ) were announced March 11, 2010.

Fiction Edit

    , American Salvage (Wayne State University Press) , The Book of Night Women (Riverhead) , Blame (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG) Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (Holt) , Lark and Termite (Knopf)

General nonfiction Edit

Criticism Edit

    Eula Biss, Notes From No Man's Land: American Essays (Graywolf Press) , Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry (Graywolf Press) , Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression (Norton) , Heroes and Villains: Essays on Music, Movies, Comics, and Culture (Da Capo Press) , Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music (Faber)

Biography Edit

    Blake Bailey, Cheever: A Life (Knopf) , Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor (Little, Brown) , Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector (Oxford University Press) , Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) , Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line (Penguin Press)

Autobiography Edit

    Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End (Norton) , Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) , Lit (Harper) , Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America (Simon & Schuster) , City Boy ( Bloomsbury)

Poetry Edit

    Rae Armantrout, Versed (Wesleyan) , A Village Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) , Chronic (Graywolf Press) , Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2008 (Louisiana State University Press) , Museum of Accidents (Wave Books)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

2010 Edit

The 2010 winners ( ) were announced March 10, 2011. [18]

Fiction Edit

    Jennifer Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad (Knopf) , Freedom (Farrar, Straus And Giroux) , To The End of the Land (Knopf) , Comedy in a Minor Key (Farrar, Straus And Giroux) , Skippy Dies (Faber & Faber)

Nonfiction Edit

Criticism Edit

    , The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) , The Professor and Other Writings (Harper ) Clare Cavanagh, Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West (Yale University Press) , The Cruel Radiance (University of Chicago Press) , Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir (Graywolf)

Biography Edit

Autobiography Edit

Poetry Edit

    , Nox (New Directions) , The Eternal City (Princeton University Press) , Lighthead (Penguin Poets) , The Best of It (Grove) C.D. Wright, One With Others (Copper Canyon)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

2011 Edit

The awards ( ) were presented March 8, 2012, at the New School in New York City. [19]

Fiction Edit

Nonfiction Edit

Criticism Edit

    , Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of EverythingGeoff Dyer, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews , The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc. , Karaoke Culture: Essays , Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music

Poetry Edit

    , Devotions , The Chameleon Couch , Kingdom Animalia , Core Samples From the WorldLaura Kasischke, Space, In Chains

Autobiography Edit

    , One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of HealingMira Bartók, The Memory Palace , Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America , It Calls You Back: An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing , Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War

Biography Edit

    , Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of the RevolutionJohn Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life , Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934–1961 , Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention , Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

2012 Edit

The finalists were announced January 14, 2013. [20] The winners ( ) were announced on February 28, 2013. [21]

Fiction Edit

Nonfiction Edit

Criticism Edit

    , Reinventing Bach , Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture , Madness, Rack, and HoneyMarina Warner, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights , The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness

Poetry Edit

    , Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations , On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths , Fragile ActsD. A. Powell, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys , Olives

Autobiography Edit

    , The Distance Between Us , My Poets , House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle EastLeanne Shapton, Swimming Studies , In the House of the Interpreter

Biography Edit

    Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson , All We Know: Three Lives , Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece , Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus: A Biography , The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

2013 Edit

The finalists were announced on January 14, 2014. [22] The winners ( ) were announced on March 13, 2014. [23]

Fiction Edit

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (Knopf) , Someone (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , The Infatuations, translated by Margaret Jull Costa (Knopf) , A Tale for the Time Being (Viking) , The Goldfinch (Little, Brown)

Nonfiction Edit

    and Shelley Murphy, Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice (Norton) Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown) , Thank You for Your Service (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Knopf)

Poetry Edit

    Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , Stay, Illusion (Knopf) , Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press) , Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon) , Milk and Filth (University of Arizona Press)

Autobiography Edit

    , Wave (Knopf) , The Book of My Lives (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , The Faraway Nearby (Viking) , Men We Reaped (Bloomsbury) Amy Wilentz, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti (Simon & Schuster)

Biography Edit

    , Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Doubleday) Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (Yale University Press) , Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (Knopf) , Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kis (Cornell University Press)

Criticism Edit

    , White Girls (McSweeney’s) , Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations (Liveright) , The Kraus Project: Essays by Karl Kraus, translated and annotated by Jonathan Franzen with Paul Reitter and Daniel Kehlmann (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Franco Moretti, Distant Reading (Verso)

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

John Leonard Prize Edit

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

2014 Edit

The finalists were announced on January 19, 2015. [24] The winners ( ) were announced March 12, 2015. [25]

Fiction Edit

General Nonfiction Edit

    David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation and Petra Couvee, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book , The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History , Capital in the Twenty-First Century, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer , Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free

Poetry Edit

Autobiography Edit

    , The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family PortraitRoz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? , The Other Side , Little Failure , There Was and There Was Not

Biography Edit

    , William Wells Brown: An African American Life , Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall JacksonJohn Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh , "Literchoor Is My Beat": A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions , The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography

Criticism Edit

    , On Immunity: An Innoculation , Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty , Citizen: An American Lyric , What Would Lynne Tillman Do?Ellen Willis, The Essential Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

John Leonard Prize Edit

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

2015 Edit

The finalists were announced on January 18, 2016. [26] The winners ( ) were announced March 17, 2016 at the New School in New York. [27]

Fiction Edit

Nonfiction Edit

    , SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome , Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America , Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in AmericaSam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic , What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing

Autobiography Edit

Biography Edit

    , Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes BoothCharlotte Gordon, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley , Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America , Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva and Shelly Frisch, Dietrich and Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives

Criticism Edit

    , Between the World and Me , Eternity's Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William BlakeMaggie Nelson, The Argonauts , On Elizabeth Bishop , The Nearest Thing to Life

Poetry Edit

    Ross Gay, Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude , How to Be Drawn , Bright Dead Things , Parallax: And Selected Poems , What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

John Leonard Prize Edit

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

2016 Edit

The finalists were announced on January 17, 2017. [28] The winners ( ) were announced March 17, 2017 at the New School in New York. [29]

Fiction Edit

Nonfiction Edit

    Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City , Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America , Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right , Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War , Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File

Autobiography Edit

Biography Edit

    , Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn StoryRuth Franklin, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life , Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary , Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White , Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey

Criticism Edit

    Carol Anderson, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide , Against Everything: Essays , Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic , The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone , Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live

Poetry Edit

    Ishion Hutchinson, House of Lords and Commons , Olio , Works and Days , At the Foundling Hospital , Blackacre

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

John Leonard Prize Edit

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

2017 Edit

The finalists were announced on January 21, 2018. [30] [31] The winners ( ) were announced on March 15, 2018 at the New School in New York. [32]

Fiction Edit

Nonfiction Edit

    , Gulf: The Making of An American SeaFrances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America , The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia , Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe , A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes

Autobiography Edit

    , The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir , Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body , Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon , The Girl From the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist RussiaXiaolu Guo, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China

Biography Edit

    Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Edmund Gordon, The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography , The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek , Gorbachev: His Life and Times , Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times

Criticism Edit

    Carina Chocano, You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages , The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story , Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History , Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions
  • Kevin Young, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News

Poetry Edit

  • Nuar Alsadir, Fourth Person Singular , EarthlingLayli Long Soldier, Whereas , The Darkness of Snow
  • Ana Ristovic, Directions for Use

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

John Leonard Prize Edit

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

2018 Edit

The finalists were announced on January 22, 2019. [33] The winners ( ) were announced at the New School in New York on March 14, 2019. [34]

Fiction Edit

    Anna Burns, Milkman , Slave Old Man. Translated by Linda Coverdale , The Largesse of the Sea Maiden , The Mars Room , The House of Broken Angels

Nonfiction Edit

  • Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the BorderSteve Coll, Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure , We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights , God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State

Autobiography Edit

    , The Day That Went Missing: A Family's Story , All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir , What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth: A Memoir of BrotherhoodNora Krug, Belonging: A German Reckons With History and Home , Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over , Educated: A Memoir

Biography Edit

    Christopher Bonanos, Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous , Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret
  • Yunte Huang, Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History , The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century , The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created

Criticism Edit

    , Is It Still Good to Ya?: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017 , Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics , To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight , The Reckonings: EssaysZadie Smith, Feel Free: Essays

Poetry Edit

    , American Sonnets for My Past and Future AssassinAda Limón, The Carrying , Holy Moly Carry Me , Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl , Asymmetry. Translated by Clare Cavanagh

John Leonard Prize Edit

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Edit

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Edit

2019 Edit

Finalists were announced on January 11, 2020. [36] The winners ( ) were announced March 12, 2020. [37]

Fiction Edit

Nonfiction Edit

    , Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future , The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian RevolutionPatrick Radden Keefe, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland , Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men's Lives , No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us

Autobiography Edit

    , Five Days Gone: The Mystery of My Mother's Disappearance as a Child , Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators , Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir , Good Talk: A Memoir in ConversationsChanel Miller, Know My Name: A Memoir

Biography Edit

    , Gods of the Upper Air: How A Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth CenturyJosh Levin, The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth , L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated “Female Byron” , Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century , A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

Criticism Edit

    , Go Ahead in the Rain , Essays OneSaidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval , Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018 , Axiomatic

Poetry Edit

    , The Tradition , Deaf RepublicMorgan Parker, Magical Negro , Dunce
  • Brian Teare, Doomstead Days

2020 Edit

Finalists were announced on January 24, 2021. [38] Winners were announced on 25 March 2021. [39]


Announcing the 2019 Award Winners

New York, NY (March 12, 2020)—Tonight, the National Book Critics Circle announced the recipients of its book awards for publishing year 2019.

The winners include nonfiction recipient Patrick Radden Keefe for Say Nothing: The True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Doubleday). Walton Muyumba says, “Keefe’s murder mystery political history, Say Nothing, is about independence and partition, colonial hang ups and post-colonial dreams, Ulster Loyalist Protestant nationalism and Irish Republican Catholic radicalism.”

Morgan Parker was awarded the poetry prize for Magical Negro (Tin House), of which Hope Wabukesays, “Morgan Parker’s effortless versatility with language in Magical Negro is a wondrous and immersive experience. Here is a poet who reminds us of what language can be—innovative and truthful in its rhythmic constructs of meaning.”

The criticism award was awarded to Saidiya Hartman for Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Stories of Social Upheaval (W.W. Norton), for which Walton Muyumba says, “Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments moans sensually and philosophically, adding bright, round, gorgeous newness to the extended ring shout of the African American critical tradition.”

Chanel Miller won the prize in autobiography for Know My Name: A Memoir (Viking) Marion Winik says, “Miller’s detailed description of her sexual assault and its aftermath, the years of her life between the rape and the sentencing, lays bare the ironies, injustices, and cruelties of the way our society and judicial system deal with sexual violence.”

The biography prize went to Josh Levin for The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth (Little, Brown), about which judge Elizabeth Taylorsays “The “welfare queen” meme was built on a myth that Josh Levin takes to its gnarly, contradictory origins in his lucid and engaging The Queen, a feat of investigative reporting matched with a deep understanding of history.”

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Edwidge Danticat won for her short story collection, Everything Inside (Knopf), for which Michael Schaub says “There are no forced happy endings, no unearned deliverances. The world, she seems to say, is unrelentingly harsh, which makes the rare moments of joy her characters experience all the more precious. Everything Inside is a stunning book, the best of Danticat’s remarkable career.”

Sarah M. Broom’s memoir, The Yellow House (Grove), was the recipient of the John Leonard Prize, recognizing an outstanding first book in any genre. Sarah M. Broom is a trained journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine and elsewhere. In 2016, She received the prestigious Whiting Award for Creative Nonfiction, which allowed her to finish her first book, THE YELLOW HOUSE (Grove Press), which won the National Book Award in November 2019. Broom received her undergraduate degree in anthropology and mass communications from the University of North Texas before earning a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. She began her writing career as a newspaper journalist working in Rhode Island, Dallas, New Orleans and Hong Kong (for TIME Asia). Broom also worked as an editor at O, The Oprah Magazine for several years. Broom also worked extensively in the nonprofit word, including as Executive Director of the global nonprofit, Village Health Works, which has offices in Burundi and New York. She taught nonfiction in Columbia University’s creative writing department. She is a native New Orleanian, the youngest of twelve children. She lives in New York City.

The recipient of the 2019 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, given to an NBCC member for exceptional critical work, was Katy Waldman. Waldman is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Previously, she was a staff writer at Slate, where she wrote about language, culture, and politics, and hosted the Slate Audio Book Club podcast. She is the winner of a 2018 American Society of Magazine Editors award for journalists younger than thirty. Katy was born in Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn. The Balakian Citation carries with it a $1,000 cash prize, endowed by longtime NBCC board member Gregg Barrios.

The recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award was Naomi Shihab Nye. Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1952, the daughter of a Palestinian refugee father and an American mother, and raised in Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. She is a poet, novelist and songwriter who has dedicated her career to teaching poetry, advocating for peace across the world and fighting discrimination against Arab Americans. Her books include Different Ways to Pray (1980), Hugging the Jukebox (1982), Red Suitcase (1994) and The Tiny Journalist (2019). In 2019, she became the first Arab American to be named the Young People’s Poet Laureate. She lives in San Antonio.

Because of COVID-19, the ceremony originally planned for this evening at the New School was cancelled. The NBCC Board plans to honor the winners and finalists at a gala in New York City on September 12, 2020.

Recipients of the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Awards

Autobiography

Chanel Miller, Know My Name: A Memoir (Viking)

Josh Levin, The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth (Little, Brown)

Saidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval (W.W. Norton)

Edwidge Danticat, Everything Inside (Knopf)

Patrick Radden Keefe, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Doubleday)

Morgan Parker, Magical Negro: Poems (Tin House)

The John Leonard Prize

Sarah M. Broom, The Yellow House: A Memoir (Grove)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

Bios of award recipients:

Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection, Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist, The Farming of Bones, The Dew Breaker, Create Dangerously, Claire of the Sea Light, and Everything Inside. She is also the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States, Best American Essays 2011, Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2. She has written seven books for children and young adults: Anacaona, Behind the Mountains, Eight Days, The Last Mapou, Mama’s Nightingale, Untwine, My Mommy Medicine, as well as a travel narrative, After the Dance. Her memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is a 2009 MacArthur fellow, a 2018 Ford Foundation “The Art of Change” fellow, and the winner of the 2018 Neustadt International Prize and the 2019 St. Louis Literary Award.

Saidiya Hartman received a BA from Wesleyan University and a PhD from Yale University. She was a professor in the Department of English and African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (1992–2006), prior to joining the faculty of Columbia University, where she is currently a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She is the former director of the Institute for Research on Gender and Sexuality at Columbia University and was a Whitney Oates Fellow at Princeton University (2002), a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library (2016–2017), and a Critical Inquiry Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago (2018). In addition to her books, she has published articles in journals such as South Atlantic Quarterly, Brick, Small Axe, Callaloo, The New Yorker and The Paris Review.

Patrick Radden Keefe is an award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker magazine and the author of the New York Times bestseller Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, as well as two other books: The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream, and Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping. He writes investigative narrative nonfiction on a range of subjects. Patrick started contributing to The New Yorker in 2006. He received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2014 and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2015 and 2016. Say Nothing received the Orwell Prize for Political Writing in 2019 and was selected by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade.” Keefe grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts and went to college at Columbia. He received master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the London School of Economics, and a JD from Yale Law School. In addition to The New Yorker, his work has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the New America Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. He lives in New York.

Josh Levin is the author of The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind An American Myth, the never-before-told story of Linda Taylor, America’s original “welfare queen.” Levin is also Slate’s national editor and the host of “Hang Up and Listen”, a weekly sports podcast that he co-hosts with Stefan Fatsis. Before that, Levin was an intern at the Washington City Paper. He’s also freelanced for the Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, GQ, Men’s Health, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine. Levin graduated from Brown University with degrees in computer science and history. He was born and raised in New Orleans, and currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Chanel Miller is a writer and artist who received her BA in Literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She lives in San Francisco, California.

Morgan Parker is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She is the author of the poetry collections Magical Negro (Tin House 2019), There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House 2017), and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015) and a young adult novel, Who Put This Song On? Her debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World. Parker is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and has been hailed by The New York Times as “a dynamic craftsperson” of “considerable consequence to American poetry.”

ABOUT THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE

The National Book Critics Circle was founded in 1974 at New York’s legendary Algonquin Hotel by a group of the most influential critics of the day. Comprising 750 working critics and book-review editors throughout the country, including student members and supporting Friends of the NBCC, the organization annually bestows its awards in six categories, honoring the best books published in the past year in the United States. It is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the publishing industry. The finalists for the NBCC awards are nominated, evaluated, and selected by the 24-member board of directors, which consists of editors and critics from the country’s leading print and online publications. For more information about the history and activities of the National Book Critics Circle and to learn how to become a member or supporter, visit http://www.bookcritics.org. Follow the NBCC on Facebook and on Twitter (@bookcritics).

My concerns were related to the fact that I realized my male abilities. I didn’t want to wait for such an eventuality, and decided to buy Levitra at the pharmacy https://levivard.com. After the first use, my sexual life started to improve, so everybody is satisfied.

Edwidge Danticat won for her short story collection, Everything Inside (Knopf), for which Michael Schaub says “There are no forced happy endings, no unearned deliverances. The world, she seems to say, is unrelentingly harsh, which makes the rare moments of joy her characters experience all the more precious. Everything Inside is a stunning book, the best of Danticat’s remarkable career.”

Sarah M. Broom’s memoir, The Yellow House (Grove), was the recipient of the John Leonard Prize, recognizing an outstanding first book in any genre. Sarah M. Broom is a trained journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine and elsewhere. In 2016, She received the prestigious Whiting Award for Creative Nonfiction, which allowed her to finish her first book, THE YELLOW HOUSE (Grove Press), which won the National Book Award in November 2019. Broom received her undergraduate degree in anthropology and mass communications from the University of North Texas before earning a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. She began her writing career as a newspaper journalist working in Rhode Island, Dallas, New Orleans and Hong Kong (for TIME Asia). Broom also worked as an editor at O, The Oprah Magazine for several years. Broom also worked extensively in the nonprofit word, including as Executive Director of the global nonprofit, Village Health Works, which has offices in Burundi and New York. She taught nonfiction in Columbia University’s creative writing department. She is a native New Orleanian, the youngest of twelve children. She lives in New York City.

The recipient of the 2019 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, given to an NBCC member for exceptional critical work, was Katy Waldman. Waldman is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Previously, she was a staff writer at Slate, where she wrote about language, culture, and politics, and hosted the Slate Audio Book Club podcast. She is the winner of a 2018 American Society of Magazine Editors award for journalists younger than thirty. Katy was born in Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn. The Balakian Citation carries with it a $1,000 cash prize, endowed by longtime NBCC board member Gregg Barrios.

The recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award was Naomi Shihab Nye. Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1952, the daughter of a Palestinian refugee father and an American mother, and raised in Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. She is a poet, novelist and songwriter who has dedicated her career to teaching poetry, advocating for peace across the world and fighting discrimination against Arab Americans. Her books include Different Ways to Pray (1980), Hugging the Jukebox (1982), Red Suitcase (1994) and The Tiny Journalist (2019). In 2019, she became the first Arab American to be named the Young People’s Poet Laureate. She lives in San Antonio.

Because of COVID-19, the ceremony originally planned for this evening at the New School was cancelled. The NBCC Board plans to honor the winners and finalists at a gala in New York City on September 12, 2020.

Recipients of the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Awards

Autobiography

Chanel Miller, Know My Name: A Memoir (Viking)

Josh Levin, The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth (Little, Brown)

Saidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval (W.W. Norton)

Edwidge Danticat, Everything Inside (Knopf)

Patrick Radden Keefe, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Doubleday)


From the archives: A review of E.L. Doctorow's 'Ragtime'

Editor's note: On March 12, the National Book Critics Circle will present its 40th annual awards in six categories — fiction, nonfiction, autobiography, biography, criticism and poetry. This week, we look back to a 1975 Tribune review of the first novel to win the NBCC Award: E.L. Doctorow's "Ragtime."

Some otherwise astute musical academicians still dismiss ragtime as "whorehouse music." It was that, but it isn't dismissible. All Scott Joplin, its master, adds up to is the best American composer up to now apart from Charles Ives. Pieces like "The Easy Winners" — rigidly controlled like classical works, in sharp contrast to the romanticism of ragtime's Dionysian offspring, jazz — express with an unspeakable precision and poignancy the gay-sad mood of black Americans at the turn of the century. Moreover, because they are the work of a genius, and genius knows no race or color or time, they also express to some extent the gay-sad mood of everybody everywhere at all times.

"Ragtime" isn't a novel about ragtime music indeed, ragtime music is barely mentioned in passing. Why, then, begin a review of it with a paragraph about ragtime music? Because this is a novel clearly inspired by that music and by the queer light it throws on the time in which it flourished and suffused with its mood and almost its rhythms. Because it is not a novel about ragtime but a novel in ragtime.

"Ragtime" is basically the story of an upper middle class white family in New Rochelle, New York, and its black servant and her daughter and lover, in the years 1902-1913. Its hero, a black musician named Coalhouse Walker Jr., is not introduced until about halfway through — hardly within the rules for the "well-made novel." But the device is perfectly within them for well-made ragtime, which is characterized by the serial introduction of entirely new themes. Its narrative style is unorthodox consisting entirely of indirect discourse with no dialogue and a point of view that is neither subjective nor omniscient, merely reportorial but then, ragtime music was so unsettling to orthodox listeners that they had to pigeonhole it as whorehouse music. It is full of coincidences and implausibilities that is because, like ragtime, it is not about life but about a dream of life.


Ragtime

Ragtime, E. L. Doctorow’s best-known novel, highlights the American melting pot and how the nation came to be what it is today. Set in the early 1900s, the story namely focuses on a wealthy family living in New Rochelle, New York, simply named Father, Mother, Mother's Younger Brother, Grandfather, and the boy. The boy, Father and Mother's young son, perhaps narrates the novel from a reminiscent adult perspective, but the omniscient narrator is never decidedly identified. The family’s turn-of-the-century journey of adaption addresses the tensions between reacting to the evolution of the era and executing revolution.

Yet Ragtime is far more than the family’s narrative. In a beautiful execution of historical fiction, the novel weaves together biographical subplots of prominent figures of the day, including J.P. Morgan, Harry Houdini, Henry Ford, Sigmund Freud, and Emma Goldman. The result: Ragtime focuses not on just the nameless or the famous, but how the two groups create history together.

Written when Vietnam was drawing to a close, Ragtime addresses issues that were affecting America at the time—from the abuse of power to racism to using sex to sell just about anything—but it also includes classic and enduring themes of morality, repression and injustice, change, and time.

Ragtime was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1975. It also won the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award the following year. The novel was adapted for a 1981 movie and a 1998 Tony award-winning Broadway musical. Ragtime is included in TIME’s “100 Best Novels” (since 1923) and ranked 86th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century.


NBCC Award Winners Announced in Emotional Ceremony

In a virtual ceremony on March 25, the National Book Critics Circle announced the winners in six categories for its annual awards honoring the best books of the previous publishing year. Books published by Harvard University Press won two of the awards, while books published by Big Five publishers won the remaining awards.

The winners in each category are as follows:

  • Autobiography: Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong (One World)
  • Biography: Stranger in the Shogun&rsquos City: A Japanese Woman and Her Worldby Amy Stanley (Scribner)
  • Criticism: Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Nicole Fleetwood (Harvard UP)
  • Fiction: Hamnetby Maggie O&rsquoFarrell (Knopf)
  • Nonfiction: Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire by Tom Zoellner (Harvard UP)
  • Poetry: Here Is the Sweet Hand by francine j. harris (FSG)

In addition, Raven Leilani won the John Leonard Prize for a first book, judged by voting members of the NBCC, for her novel Luster (FSG). As previously announced, the $1,000 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing went to Jo Livingstone, a staff writer at the New Republic, and the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award went to the Feminist Press, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

During the ceremony, which was streamed online, authors were visibly moved and used the occasion to remark on recent events. In her acceptance speech for the John Leonard Prize, Leilani said that the award came after a year that surpassed her "wildest dreams," but also contained "insurmountable grief."

Jo Livingstone said that they found hope in other writers, as we appear to be "living through the end of the world." Jamia Wilson, former editor and publisher of Feminist Press&mdashwho moved to Random House in January&mdashnoted: "Research studies have shown the person most likely to read a book in any form today is a college-educated Black woman." She added that she was reminded of "how important it was to be doing this work today." This moment was followed with a montage of literary luminaries, including Molly Crabapple and Michelle Tea, honoring the press as Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl" played.

Maggie O'Farrell dedicated her award to the late Knopf editor Sonny Mehta. francine j. harris, moved to tears by her win, cited the lasting influence and mentorship of previous generations of Black women poets, and noted the passing of poet Adam Zagajewski earlier this week.

The most intense moment came when Cathy Hong Park, visibly moved at winning, dedicated her award to the eight people murdered in Georgia last week. &ldquoThis is for their families, and this is for all of the Asian women, the women in the sex industry, in the service industry, the migrant workers, the factory workers, the mothers and daughters who have come from homelands riven by empire, who have labored and struggled and died in the shadows of American history," she said. "Your hardship and spirit will not be in vain. We will remember you. We will fight for you. Your lives are not expendable. You will be remembered.&rdquo

David Varno, president of the board of the NBCC (and PW's fiction reviews editor), remarked: &ldquoThis culmination of a year of reading was a joyous and deeply moving occasion, from the intimate readings by thirty of the finalists to the emotional and powerful acceptance speeches from the winners, all of whose work demonstrates literary excellence and cultural and political relevance."


Ragtime: Book summary and reviews of Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

Published in USA Jun 1975
270 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

About this book

Book Summary

An extraordinary tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of America in the era between the turn of the century and the First World War.

The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J. P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow's imagined family and other fictional characters, including an immigrant peddler and a ragtime musician from Harlem whose insistence on a point of justice drives him to revolutionary violence.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] beautifully realized complex of social epiphanies, all watched over by the spirit of Scott Joplin." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Ragtime is as exhilarating as a deep breath of pure oxygen. At times, the swift, short sentences suggest the pristine flicker of silent film at others, the sharp angles and sardonic deployment of detail in Citizen Kane . The grace and surface vivacity of Ragtime make it enormous fun to read. But beneath its peppy, bracing rhythms sound the neat, sad waltz of Gatsby and the tunes of betrayed promise. History resonates with special clarity here. Doctorow has found a fresh way to orchestrate the themes of American innocence, energy, and inchoate ambition." - Newsweek.

". (It) is in this excellent novel, whose silhouettes and rags not only make fiction out of history but also reveal the fictions out of which history is made. It incorporates the fictions and realities of the era of ragtime while it rags our fictions about it. It is an anti-nostalgic novel that incorporates our nostalgia about its subject. It is cool, hard, controlled, utterly unsentimental, an art of sharp outlines and clipped phrases. yet it implies all we could ask for in the way of texture, mood, character and despair." - Books of the Century, The New York Times, July 1975.

This information about Ragtime shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.


Contents

2010 [ edit | edit source ]

The 2010 winners were announced March 10, 2011. Α] (winners in bold)

  • Jennifer Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad (Knopf) , Freedom (Farrar, Straus And Giroux) , To The End Of The Land (Knopf) , Comedy In A Minor Key (Farrar, Straus And Giroux) , Skippy Dies (Faber & Faber)
    , Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (Spiegel & Grau) , Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American (Scribner) , Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet (Random ) , The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Scribner )
  • Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (Random)
    , The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) , The Professor and Other Writings (Harper )
  • Clare Cavanagh, Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West (Yale University Press) , The Cruel Radiance (University of Chicago Press) , Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir (Graywolf)
    , Crossing Mandelbaum Gate Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978 (Scribner) , The Autobiography of an Execution (Twelve) , Hitch-22: A Memoir (Twelve) , Hiroshima in the Morning (Feminst Press) , Just Kids (Ecco)
  • Darin Strauss, Half a Life (McSweeney’s)
    , Nox (New Directions) , The Eternal City (Princeton University Press) , Lighthead (Penguin Poets) , The Best of It (Grove)
  • C.D. Wright, One With Others (Copper Canyon)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

2009 [ edit | edit source ]

The 2009 winners were announced March 11, 2010 (winners in bold)

    , American Salvage (Wayne State University Press) , The Book of Night Women (Riverhead) , Blame (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG)
  • Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (Holt) , Lark and Termite (Knopf)
    , The Hindus: An Alternative History (Penguin Press) , Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City (Metropolitan Books)
  • Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (Pantheon) , Strength in What Remain (Random House) , Imperial (Viking)
  • Eula Biss, Notes From No Man's Land: American Essays (Graywolf Press) , Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry (Graywolf Press) , Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression (Norton) , Heroes and Villains: Essays on Music, Movies, Comics, and Culture (Da Capo Press) , Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music (Faber)
  • Blake Bailey, Cheever: A Life (Knopf) , Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor (Little, Brown) , Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector (Oxford University Press) , Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) , Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line (Penguin Press)
  • Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End (Norton) , Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) , Lit (Harper) , Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America (Simon & Schuster) , City Boy ( Bloomsbury)
  • Rae Armantrout, Versed (Wesleyan) , A Village Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) , Chronic (Graywolf Press) , Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2008 (Louisiana State University Press) , Museum of Accidents (Wave Books)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

2008 [ edit | edit source ]

The 2008 winners were announced March 12, 2009 (winners in bold). Β]

  • Roberto Bolaño, 2666. (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) , The Lazarus Project, (Riverhead) , Home, (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) , Olive Kitteridge, (Random House) , The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, (West Virginia University Press)
    , This Republic of Suffering, (Knopf)
  • Dexter Filkins, The Forever War, (Knopf) , From Colony to Superpower: US Foreign Relations Since 1776. (Oxford University Press) , White Protestant Nation, (Atlantic) , The Dark Side, (Doubleday)
    , Why I Came West, (Houghton Mifflin) , The House on Sugar Beach, (Simon and Schuster) , The Bishop’s Daughter, (W.W. Norton) , The Eaves of Heaven, (Harmony Books)
  • Ariel Sabar, My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, (Algonquin)
    , The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in an American Century, (Penguin Press)
  • Patrick French, The World is What it is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul, (Knopf) , Ida, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching, (Amistad) , The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, (Norton) , White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson & Thomas Wentworth Higginson, (Knopf)
  • Juan Felipe Herrera, Half the World in Light, (University of Arizona Press)Γ] , Sources, (Turtle Point Press)
  • August Kleinzahler, Sleeping it Off in Rapid City, (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)Γ] (trans. John Ashbery), The Landscapist, (Sheep Meadow Press) , Human Dark with Sugar, (Copper Canyon Press)
    , Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard, (Metropolitan Books) , The Men in My Life. (Boston Review/MIT) , Maimonides: The Life and World of One Of Civilization’s Greatest Minds, (Doubleday)
  • Seth Lerer, Children’s Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter, (University of Chicago Press) , Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry, (University of Michigan Press)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

2007 [ edit | edit source ]

The 2007 award winners (bold) were announced on March 6, 2008. Ε] Ζ]

    , Sacred Games (HarperCollins)
  • Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead) , In the Country of Men (Dial Press) , The Gravedigger's Daughter (Ecco) , The Shadow Catcher (Simon and Schuster)
    , American Transcendentalism (Hill & Wang) , What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815–1848 (Oxford University Press)
  • Harriet Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (Doubleday) , Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA (Doubleday) , The World Without Us (Thomas Dunne BKs/St. Martin’s)
    , Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone (Free Press)
  • Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying (Knopf) , The Journals of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973–1982 (Ecco) , Writing in an Age of Silence (Verso) , Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption and Death in Putin's Russia (Random House)
  • Tim Jeal, Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (Yale University Press) , Edith Wharton (Knopf) , Ralph Ellison (Knopf) , A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917–1932 (Knopf) , Thomas Hardy (Penguin Press)
  • Mary Jo Bang, Elegy (Graywolf) , Modern Life (Graywolf) , Sleeping and Waking (Flood) , The Ballad of Jamie Allan (Flood) , New Poems (Archipelago)
    , Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints (Pantheon) , Once Upon a Quniceanera (Viking) , The Terror Dream (Metropolitan/Holt) , Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Alex Ross, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award


Finalists

The finalists were announced on January 18, 2016. [13] The winners ( ) were announced March 17, 2016 at the New School in New York. [14]

    , SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome , Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America , Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in AmericaSam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic , What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing
    , Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes BoothCharlotte Gordon, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley , Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America , Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva and Shelly Frisch, Dietrich and Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives
    , Between the World and Me , Eternity’s Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William BlakeMaggie Nelson, The Argonauts , On Elizabeth Bishop , The Nearest Thing to Life
    Ross Gay, Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude , How to Be Drawn , Bright Dead Things , Parallax: And Selected Poems , What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

The finalists were announced on January 19, 2015. [15] The winners ( ) were announced March 12, 2015. [16]

    David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation and Petra Couvee, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book , The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History , Capital in the Twenty-First Century, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer , Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free
    , Prelude to Bruise , The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon BonClaudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric , Once in the West , Abide
    , The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family PortraitRoz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? , The Other Side , Little Failure , There Was and There Was Not
    , William Wells Brown: An African American Life , Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall JacksonJohn Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh , "Literchoor Is My Beat": A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions , The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography
    , On Immunity: An Innoculation , Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty , Citizen: An American Lyric , What Would Lynne Tillman Do?Ellen Willis, The Essential Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

The finalists were announced on January 14, 2014. [17] [18] The winners ( ) were announced on March 13, 2014. [19]

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (Knopf) , Someone (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , The Infatuations, translated by Margaret Jull Costa (Knopf) , A Tale for the Time Being (Viking) , The Goldfinch (Little, Brown)
    and Shelley Murphy, Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice (Norton) Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown) , Thank You for Your Service (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Knopf)
    Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , Stay, Illusion (Knopf) , Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press) , Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon) , Milk and Filth (University of Arizona Press)
    , Wave (Knopf) , The Book of My Lives (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , The Faraway Nearby (Viking) , Men We Reaped (Bloomsbury) Amy Wilentz, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti (Simon & Schuster)
    , Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Doubleday) Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (Yale University Press) , Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (Knopf) , Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kis (Cornell University Press)
    , White Girls (McSweeney’s) , Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations (Liveright) , The Kraus Project: Essays by Karl Kraus, translated and annotated by Jonathan Franzen with Paul Reitter and Daniel Kehlmann (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) , Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Franco Moretti, Distant Reading (Verso)

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

The finalists were announced January 14, 2012. [20] The winners ( ) were announced on Feb. 28, 2012. [21]

    , Reinventing Bach , Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture , Madness, Rack, and HoneyMarina Warner, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights , The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness
    , Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations , On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths , Fragile ActsD. A. Powell, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys , Olives
    , The Distance Between Us , My Poets , House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle EastLeanne Shapton, Swimming Studies , In the House of the Interpreter
    Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson , All We Know: Three Lives , Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece , Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus: A Biography , The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

The awards ( ) were presented March 8, 2012, at the New School in New York City. [22]


Watch the video: Booker Prize Shortlist Reaction 2021