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.

1984 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine (Holt Rinehart & Winston)

Fiction Finalists

  • David Leavitt, Family Dancing (Knopf)
  • Alison Lurie, Foreign Affairs (Random House)
  • Jayne Anne Phillips, Machine Dreams (Dutton)
  • Harriet Doerr, Stones for Ibarra (Viking)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Freeman Dyson, Weapons and Hope (Cornelia and Michael Bessie/Harper and Row)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • David Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews (Pantheon)
  • John Edgar Wideman, Brothers and Keepers (Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
  • Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Basic Books)
  • Evan Connell, Son of the Morning Star (North Point Press)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky: The Years of Ordeal, 1850-59 (Princeton University Press)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • Susan Cheever, Home Before Dark (Princeton)
  • Elinor Langer, Josephine Herbst (Atlantic/Little, Brown)
  • Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings (Harvard University Press)
  • Paul Zweig, Walt Whitman: The Making of a Poet (Basic Books)

Poetry Winner

  • Sharon Olds, The Dead and the Living (Knopf)

Poetry Finalists

  • Robert Duncan, Ground Work: Before the War (New Directions)
  • Charles Wright, The Other Side of the River (Random House)
  • Dick Allen, Overnight in the Guest House of the Mystic (Louisiana State University Press)
  • John Ashbery, A Wave (Viking)

Criticism Winner

  • Robert Hass, Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (Ecco Press)

Criticism Finalists

  • Donald Keene, Dawn to the West: Japanese Literature in the Modern Era (Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
  • David Bromwich, Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic (Oxford University Press)
  • Roger Shattuck, The Innocent Eye (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Leo Steinberg, The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion (Pantheon)

Ivan Sandrof/NBCC Award Winner

  • Library of America