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.

1980 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Shirley Hazzard, The Transit of Venus (Viking)

Fiction Finalists

  • E.L. Doctorow, Loon Lake (Random House)
  • Anne Tyler, Morgan’s Passing (Knopf)
  • Walker Percy, The Second Coming (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Ronald Steel, Walter Lippman and the American Century (Atlantic-Little, Brown)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Jean Strouse, Alice James: A Biography (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men (Knopf)
  • John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the 14th Century (University of Chicago Press)
  • Justin D. Kaplan, Walt Whitman: A Life (Simon & Schuster)

Poetry Winner

  • Frederick Seidel, Sunrise (Viking/Penguin)

Poetry Finalists

  • Joseph Brodsky, A Part of Speech (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Robert Penn Warren, Being Here: Poetry, 1977-1980 (Random House)
  • James Schuyler, The Morning of the Poem (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • James Merrill, Scripts for the Pageant (Atheneum)

Criticism Winner

  • Helen Vendler, Part of Nature: Modern American Poets (Harvard University Press).

Criticism Finalists

  • Paul Fussell, Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars (Oxford University Press)
  • R.P. Blackmur, ed. by Veronica A. Makowsky, Henry Adams (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
  • Vladimir Nabokov, ed. by Fredson Bowers, Lectures on Literature (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
  • Barbara Novak, Nature and Culture: American Landscape Painting, 1825-1875 (Oxford University Press)