• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    Here are the finalists for the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award.

    Rasheeda Saka

    January 25, 2021, 11:52am

    Yesterday, writer and book critic Michael Schaub announced all the finalists for the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award, which honors the “finest books” published in English during the last year. The thirty finalists were selected across six categories—Autobiography, Biography, Criticism, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry—by a distinguished panel of literary experts.

    Seven finalists were also selected for the John Leonard Prize, which awards for the best debut in any genre. Previous winners include Sarah M. Broom, Tommy Orange, and Carmen Maria Machado.

    The winner of each category will be announced live at the virtual National Book Critics Circle Award on Thursday March 25 at 7pm at wildboundlive.com. The free public event will also grant the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award to the NYC nonprofit Feminist Press, and the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing to the New Republic critic Jo Livingstone.

    A hearty congrats to all!


    Finalists for the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award


    Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

    Shayla Lawson, This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope

    Riva Lehrer, Golem Girl 

    Wayétu Moore, The Dragons, The Giant, The Women

    Alia Volz, Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco 


    Amy Stanley, Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World 

    Zachary D. Carter, The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes

    Heather Clark, Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath

    Les Payne, Tamara Payne, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X 

    Maggie Doherty, The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s


    Nicole Fleetwood, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

    Namwali Serpell, Stranger Faces

    Cristina Rivera Garza, Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country

    Vivian Gornick, Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader

    Wendy A. Woloson, Crap: A History of Cheap Stuff in America


    Martin Amis, Inside Story

    Randall Kenan, If I Had Two Wings

    Maggie O’Farrell, Hamnet

    Souvankham Thammavongsa, How to Pronounce Knife

    Bryan Washington, Memorial


    Walter Johnson, The Broken Heart of America: St, Louis and the Violent History of the United States

    James Shapiro, Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future

    Sarah Smarsh, She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs

    Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent

    Tom Zoellner, Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire


    Victoria Chang, Obit

    Francine J. Harris, Here Is The Sweet Hand

    Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Imperial Liquor

    Chris Nealon, The Shore

    Danez Smith, Homie


    Kerri Arsenault, Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains

    Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The Undocumented Americans

    Raven Leilani, Luster

    Megha Majumdar, A Burning

    Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain

    Brandon Taylor, Real Life

    C Pam Zhang, How Much of These Hills Is Gold

    [h/t NBCC]

  • Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

    For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.

    %d bloggers like this: