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.

1977 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (Knopf)

Fiction Finalists

  • John Cheever, Falconer (Knopf)
  • Joan Didion, A Book of Common Prayer (Simon & Schuster)
  • Philip Roth, The Professor of Desire (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • John Sayles, Union Dues (Atlantic-Little, Brown)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • W. Jackson Bate, Samuel Johnson (Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich).

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Michael Herr, Dispatches (Knopf)
  • David McCullough, The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 (Simon & Schuster)
  • John McPhee, Coming Into the Country (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence (Random)

Poetry Winner

  • Robert Lowell, Day by Day (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Poetry Finalists

  • John Ashbery, Houseboat Days (Viking)
  • Stanley Plumly, Out-of-the-Body Travel (Ecco/Viking)
  • W.D. Snodgrass, The Fuhrer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress (Boa)
  • Gerald Stern, Lucky Life (Houghton)

Criticism Winner

  • Susan Sontag, On Photography (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Criticism Finalists

  • Arlene Croce, Afterimages (Knopf)
  • Morris Dickstein, Gates of Eden: American Culture in the Sixties (Basic)
  • Richard Poirier, Robert Frost: The Work of Knowing (Oxford University Press)
  • Gore Vidal, Matters of Fact and of Fiction: Essays, 1973-1976 (Random)