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.

1983 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • William Kennedy, Ironweed (The Viking Press)

Fiction Finalists

  • Philip Roth, The Anatomy Lesson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Raymond Carver, Cathedral (Knopf)
  • Joan Chase, During the Reign of the Queen (Harper & Row)
  • Ron Loewinsohn, Magnetic Field(s) (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Seymour M. Hersh, The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House (Summit Books)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Roger Rosenblatt, Children of War (Anchor/Doubleday)
  • William W. Warner, Distant Water: The Fate of the North Atlantic Fisherman (Atlantic-Little, Brown)
  • Theodore Draper, Present History: On Nuclear War, Detente and Other Controversies (Random House)
  • David S. Landes, Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World (Harvard University Press)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Joyce Johnson, Minor Characters (Houghton Mifflin)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • Kenneth R. Manning, Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just (Oxford University Press)
  • Nicholas Gage, Eleni (Random House)
  • E. Fuller Torrey, The Roots of Treason: Ezra Pound and the Secret of St. Elizabeth’s (McGraw-Hill)
  • Fred Kaplan, Thomas Carlyle (Cornell University Press)

Poetry Winner

  • James Merrill, The Changing Light at Sandover (Atheneum)

Poetry Finalists

  • Jorie Graham, Erosion (Princeton University Press)
  • Amy Clampitt, The Kingfisher (Knopf)
  • Cathy Song, Picture Bride (Yale University Press)
  • C.K. Williams, Tar (Random House)

Criticism Winner

  • John Updike, Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism (Knopf)

Criticism Finalists

  • John Rockwell, All American Music (Knopf)
  • Cynthia Ozick, Art and Ardor: Essays (Knopf)
  • Svetlana Alpers, The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century (University of Chicago Press)
  • Helen Vendler, The Odes of John Keats (Harvard University Press)