The National Book Critics Circle Award

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.

2019 NBCC Award Winners

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

    Nonfiction

    Patrick Radden Keefe

    Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

    Doubleday

    About the winner
  • Biography

    Josh Levin

    The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth

    Little, Brown

    About the winner
  • Criticism

    Saidiya Hartman

    Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval

    W.W. Norton

    About the winner
  • John Leonard Prize

    Sarah M. Broom

    The Yellow House: A Memoir

    Grove

  • Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

    Katy Waldman

  • Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

    Naomi Shihab Nye

2019 NBCC Award Finalists

  • Fiction

    The Topeka School
    • Myla Goldberg

      Feast Your Eyes Scribner
    • Ben Lerner

      The Topeka School Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Valeria Luiselli

      Lost Children Archive Knopf
    • Colson Whitehead

      The Nickel Boys Doubleday
  • Nonfiction

    No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder (Bloomsbury)
    • Kate Brown

      Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future W.W. Norton
    • Peter Hessler

      The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution Penguin Press
    • Walt Odets

      Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men’s Lives Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Rachel Louise Snyder

      No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us Bloomsbury
  • Biography

    A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
    • Charles King

      Gods of the Upper Air: How A Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century Doubleday
    • Lucasta Miller

      L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated “Female Byron” Knopf
    • George Packer

      Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century Knopf
    • Sonia Purnell

      A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II Viking
  • Autobiography

    Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman (W.W. Norton)
    • Laura Cumming

      Five Days Gone: The Mystery of My Mother’s Disappearance as a Child Scribner
    • Ronan Farrow

      Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators Little, Brown
    • Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

      Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir W. W. Norton
    • Mira Jacob

      Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations One World
  • Poetry

    Doomstead Days by Brian Teare (Nighboat Books)
    • Jericho Brown

      The Tradition Copper Canyon Press
    • Ilya Kaminsky

      Deaf Republic Graywolf Press
    • Mary Ruefle

      Dunce Wave Books
    • Brian Teare

      Doomstead Days Nightboat Books
  • Criticism

    Go Ahead in the Rain by Hanif Abdurraqib (University of Texas Press)
    Essays One by Lydia Davis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
    Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light by Peter Schjeldahl (Abrams Press)
    • Hanif Abdurraqib

      Go Ahead in the Rain University of Texas Press
    • Lydia Davis

      Essays One Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Peter Schjeldahl

      Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018 Abrams
    • Maria Tumarkin

      Axiomatic Transit Books
  • John Leonard Prize

    • Taffy Brodesser-Akner

      Fleishman Is In Trouble Random House
    • Chia-Chia Lin

      The Unpassing Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • T Kira Madden

      Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoir Bloomsbury
    • Julia Phillips

      Disappearing Earth Knopf
    • Jia Tolentino

      Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion Random House
    • Bryan Washington

      Lot: Stories Riverhead
  • Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

    • David Biespiel

    • Josephine Livingstone

    • Wendy Smith

    • David L. Ulin

  • Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award