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.

1985 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist (Knopf).

Fiction Finalists

  • Don DeLillo, White Noise (Viking)
  • Peter Taylor, The Old Forest and Other Stories (Dial)
  • Richard Powers, Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance (Beech Tree/Morrow)
  • Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove (Simon and Schuster)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • J. Anthony Lukas, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Tracy Kidder, House (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (Oxford)
  • Alan Riding, Distant Neighbors: The Portrait of the Mexicans (Knopf)
  • Eva Keuls, The Reign of the Phallus: Sexual Politics in Ancient Athens (Harper and Row)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Leon Edel, Henry James: A Life (Harper & Row)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • Elizabeth Frank, Louise Bogan (Knopf)
  • James Lord, Giacometti: A Biography (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Leonard Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses (Knopf)
  • Michael Lesy, Visible Light: Four Creative Biographies (Times Books)

Poetry Winner

  • Louise Gluck, The Triumph of Achilles (Ecco Press)

Poetry Finalists

  • Amy Clampitt, What the Light Was Like (Knopf)
  • Gjertude Schnackenberg, The Lamplit Answer (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Galway Kinnell, The Past (Houghton Mifflin)
  • James Merrill, Late Settings (Atheneum)

Criticism Winner

  • William Gass, Habitations of the Word (Simon & Schuster)

Criticism Finalists

  • Paul Robinson, Opera and Ideas: From Mozart to Strauss (Harper and Row)
  • Robert Storey, Pierrots on the Stage of Desire: 19th Century French Literary Artistis and Comic Pantomine (Princeton)
  • Phillip Fisher, Hard Facts: Setting and Form in the American Novel (Oxford)
  • Mary McCarthy, Occasional Prose: Essays (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)