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.

1978 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • John Cheever, The Stories of John Cheever (Knopf)

Fiction Finalists

  • John Updike, The Coup (Knopf)
  • Mary Gordon, Final Payments (Random)
  • John Irving, The World According to Garp (Robbins/Dutton)
  • Charles Simmons, Wrinkles (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

General Nonfiction Winners

  • Maureen Howard, Facts of Life (Little, Brown)
  • Garry Willis, Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (Doubleday)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century (Knopf)
  • Theodore H. White, In Search of History: A Personal Adventure (Harper & Row)
  • Barrington Moore, Injustice: The Social Bases of Obedience and Revolt (Pantheon)
  • Sissela Bok, Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life (Pantheon)
  • A. Scott Berg, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius (Congdon/Dutton)
  • Alfred Kazin, New York Jew (Knopf)
  • Anne Hollander, Seeing Through Clothes (Viking)
  • Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard (Viking)

Poetry Winner

  • Peter Davison, ed., Hello, Darkness: The Collected Poems of L.E. Sissman (Atlantic-Little, Brown)

Poetry Finalists

  • Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language: Poems, 1974-1977 (Norton)
  • Mark Strand, The Late Hour (Atheneum)
  • May Swenson, New & Selected Things Taking Place (Atlantic-Little, Brown)
  • John Hollander, Spectral Emanations: New and Selected Poems (Atheneum)

Criticism Winner

  • Meyer Schapiro, Modern Art: 19th & 20th Centuries, Selected Papers (Braziller)

Criticism Finalists

  • Malcolm Cowley, And I Worked at the Writer’s Trade: Chapters of Literary History, 1918-1978 (Viking)
  • Eudora Welty, The Eye of the Story: Selected Essays and Reviews (Random)
  • Edward W. Said, Orientalism (Pantheon)
  • William H. Gass, The World Within the Word: Essays (Knopf)