Criticism & Features

NBCC Reads

Joshua Clark Picks E. L. Doctorow

By Joshua Clark

What is your favorite National Book Critics Circle finalist of all time? The first NBCC winners, honored in 1975 for books published in 1974, were E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime, fiction), John Ashbery (Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, poetry), R.W.B. Lewis for his biography of Edith Wharton, and Paul Fussell (The Great War and Modern Memory, criticism). In 2014 the National Book Critics Circle prepares to celebrate nearly forty years of the best work selected by the critics themselves, and also to launch the new John Leonard award for first book. So we're looking back at the winners and finalists, all archived on our website, and we've asked our members and former honorees to pick a favorite. Here's the thirty-fourth in our latest in six years of NBCC Reads surveys. More on Joshua Clark here.

Took a good look at the list and this one's easy for me: E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime. I'll never forget that conversation between Ford and Morgan.

Joshua Clark is the author of Heart Like Water, a memoir of surviving Katrina, Rita, and the aftermath, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in autobiography. He is publisher of the small press Light of New Orleans, which published French Quarter Fiction, among others.