The National Book Critics Circle Awards

Each year, the National Book Critics Circle presents awards for the finest books published in English in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism.

In addition, we award the John Leonard Prize for the best first book in any genre, voted on by NBCC membership; the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, which recognizes outstanding work by a member of the NBCC; and the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award and Toni Morrison Achievement Award, which are given respectively to individuals and literary institutions for transformative contributions to book culture. Beginning in 2023, we’ll award the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, for the best book of any genre translated into English and published in the United States.

2022 NBCC Award Winners

  • Fiction

    Ling Ma

    Bliss Montage: Stories

    Farrar, Straus and Giroux

    About the winner
  • Nonfiction

    Isaac Butler

    The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act


    About the winner
  • Biography

    Beverly Gage

    G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century


    About the winner
  • Criticism

    Timothy Bewes

    Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age


    About the winner
  • John Leonard Prize

    Morgan Talty

    Night of the Living Rez

    Tin House

  • Gregg Barrios Book in Translation

    Andrey Kurkov trans. by Boris Dralyuk

    Grey Bees

    Deep Vellum

    About the winner
  • Jennifer posing with trophy

    Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

    Jennifer Wilson

    About the winner

2022 NBCC Award Finalists

  • Fiction

    • Percival Everett

      Dr. No Graywolf
    • Jon Fosse, trans. by Damion Searls

      A New Name Transit Books
    • Mieko Kawakami, trans. by Sam Bett and David Boyd

      All the Lovers in the Night Europa Editions
    • Namwali Serpell

      The Furrows Hogarth
  • Nonfiction

    • Kelly Lytle Hernández

      Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands Norton
    • Joseph Osmundson

      Virology: Essays for the Living, the Dead, and the Small Things in Between Norton
    • Annie Proulx

      Fen, Bog, & Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis Scribner
    • Ed Yong

      An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us Random House
  • Biography

    • Kerri K. Greenidge

      The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family Liveright
    • Jennifer Homans

      Mr. B: George Balanchine's 20th Century Random House
    • Clare Mac Cumhaill and Rachael Wiseman

      Metaphysical Animals: How Four Women Brought Philosophy Back to Life Doubleday
    • Aaron Sachs

      Up from the Depths: Herman Melville, Lewis Mumford, and Rediscovery in Dark Times Princeton University Press
  • Autobiography

    • Jazmina Barrera, trans. by Christina MacSweeney

      Linea Nigra: An Essay on Pregnancy and Earthquakes Two Lines Press
    • Dorthe Nors, trans. by Caroline Waight

      A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast Graywolf
    • Darryl Pinckney

      Come Back in September: A Literary Education on West Sixty-Seventh Street, Manhattan Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Ingrid Rojas Contreras

      The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir Doubleday
  • Poetry

    • Mosab Abu Toha

      Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear City Lights
    • David Hernandez

      Hello I Must be Going Pitt
    • Paul Hlava Ceballos

      banana [ ] Pitt
    • Bernadette Mayer

      Milkweed Smithereens New Directions
  • Criticism

    • Rachel Aviv

      Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Peter Brooks

      Seduced by Story: The Use and Abuse of Narrative NYRB
    • Margo Jefferson

      Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir Pantheon
    • Alia Trabucco Zerán, trans. by Sophie Hughes

      When Women Kill: Four Crimes Retold Coffee House Press
  • John Leonard Prize

    • Jessamine Chan

      The School for Good Mothers S&S/Marysue Rucci Books
    • Jonathan Escoffery

      If I Survive You MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Tess Gunty

      The Rabbit Hutch Knopf
    • Zain Khalid

      Brother Alive Grove
    • Maud Newton

      Ancestor Trouble Random House
    • Vauhini Vara

      The Immortal King Rao Norton
  • Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

    • Sarah Chihaya

    • Christoph Irmscher

    • Lauren Michele Jackson

    • Ruth Margalit