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.

1988 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Bharati Mukherjee, The Middleman and Other Stories (Grove Press)

Fiction Finalists

  • Don DeLillo, Libra (Viking)
  • Pete Dexter, Paris Trout (Random House)
  • J.F. Powers, Wheat That Springeth Green (Knopf)
  • Raymond Carver, Where I’m Calling From: New and Selected Stories (Atlantic Monthly Press)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63 (Simon & Schuster)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford University Press)
  • Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam (Random House)
  • Jane Kramer, Europeans (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (Harper & Row)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde (Knopf)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • Paul Monette, Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
  • Valerie Eliot, ed., The Letters of T.S. Eliot, 1909-1922 (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
  • Paul Jay, ed., The Selected Correspondence of Kenneth Burke and Malcolm Cowley, 1915-1981 (Viking)
  • Robert Wright, Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information (Times Books)

Poetry Winner

  • Donald Hall, The One Day (Ticknor & Fields)

Poetry Finalists

  • Richard Wilbur, New and Collected Poems (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
  • John Hollander, Harp Lake (Knopf)
  • Kenneth Koch, One Thousand Avant-Garde Plays (Knopf)
  • Thomas McGrath, Selected Poems, 1938-1988 (Copper Canyon Press)

Criticism Winner

  • Clifford Geertz, Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author (Stanford University Press)

Criticism Finalists

  • Nelson George, The Death of Rhythm and Blues (Pantheon)
  • Richard A. Posner, Law and Literature: A Misunderstood Relation (Harvard University Press)
  • John Hollander, Melodious Guile: Fictive Pattern in Poetic Language (Yale University Press)
  • Robert Pinsky, Poetry and the World (Ecco Press)

Reviewer’s Citation Winner

  • William Logan

Reviewer’s Citation Finalists

  • Bruce Bawer
  • Adam Hochschild
  • James Marcus
  • Phyllis Rose
  • George Scialabba