Critical Notes

NBCC Awards Issue

By Jane Ciabattari

The National Book Critics Circle awards were presented March 17 at the New School, with a packed after-party (Beowulf Sheehan pix  here on the NBCC Facebook page), and reports far and wide.

Here's video of the awards ceremony, and of the readings by finalists the night before, both at the New School. (30 Books in 30 Days, reviews of all finalists, here.)

Here's Nick Offerman's introduction of Wendell Berry, this year's Sandrof awardee for lifetime achievement, and Wendell Berry's eloquent thank yous. And here's Kirstin Valdez Quade's remarks upon winning the John Leonard award for best first book for Night at the Fiestas.

The award winners told the New York Times' Alexandra Alter about which books or writers were  their influences. (Paul Beatty, fiction award winner, called out Richard Pryor.)

“Diversity is not an issue at the NBCC awards,” wrote Boris Kachka (New York Magazine's Vulture). “A deep bench of writers across genres, races, genders, and vastly different points of view yielded African American winners in half of the six categories, all telling the truth, but telling it slant.”

“Last night, with a run of well placed nominees and deserving winners, the critics proved their worth to literary culture,” wrote Flavorwire's Jonathon Sturgeon.

Also reporting on the NBCC Awards: Michael Schaub in the Los Angeles Times, Colette Bancroft in the Tampa Bay Times, Ron Charles in the Washington Post, Laurie Hertzel of the Minneapois Star-Tribune,  PW's Calvin Reid, Alexandra Alter of the New York Times, AP's Hillel Italie.