The National Book Critics Circle Awards

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.

In addition, we award the John Leonard Prize for the best first book in any genre, voted on by NBCC membership; the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, which recognizes outstanding work by a member of the NBCC; and the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award and Toni Morrison Achievement Award, which are given respectively to individuals and literary institutions for transformative contributions to book culture. Beginning in 2023, we’ll award the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, for the best book of any genre translated into English and published in the United States.

1993 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Ernest J. Gaines, A Lesson Before Dying  (Knopf)

Fiction Finalists

  • E. Annie Proulx, The Shipping News (Scribners)
  • Bobbie Ann Mason, Feather Crowns (Harper)
  • Frances Sherwood, Vindication (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Rikki Ducornet, The Jade Cabinet (Dalkey Archive Press)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Alan Lomax, The Land Where the Blues Began (Pantheon)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Rosemary Mahoney, Whoredom in Kimmage: Irish Women Coming of Age (Houghton Mifflin)
  • George B. Schaller, The Last Panda (Chicago)
  • Russ Rymer, Genie: An Abused Child’s Flight From Silence (Harper)
  • David Remnick, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (Random House)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Edmund White, Genet (Knopf)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • James Merrill, A Different Person (Knopf)
  • James Miller, The Passion of Michael Foucault (Simon & Schuster)
  • Alice Kaplan, French Lessons (Chicago)
  • David Levering Lewis, DuBois: Biography of a Race (Holt)

Poetry Winner

  • Mark Doty, My Alexandria (University of Illinois Press)

Poetry Finalists

  • Donald Hall, The Museum of Clear Ideas (Ticknor & Fields)
  • Linda Hogan, The Book of Medicines (Coffee House Press)
  • Audre Lorde, The Marvelous Arithmetic of Distance (W.W. Norton)
  • Jack Marshall, Sesame (Coffee House Press)

Criticism Winner

  • John Dizikes, Opera in America: A Cultural History (Yale)

Criticism Finalists

  • Wayne Koestenbaum, The Queen’s Throat (Poseidon)
  • Geoffrey O’Brien, The Phantom Empire (Norton)
  • Mark Rose, Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright (Harvard)
  • Gore Vidal, United States: Essays 1952-1992 (Random House)

Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award Winner

  • Brigitte Frase