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 two prizes voted on by membership: the John Leonard Prize for the best first book in any genre and the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, for the best book of any genre translated into English and published in the United States. We also award 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.

1994 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries (Viking)

Fiction Finalists

  • Alan Isler, The Prince of West End Avenue (Bridge Works)
  • Julius Lester, And All Our Wounds Forgiven (Arcade)
  • William Gaddis, A Frolic of His Own (Poseidon/Simon & Schuster)
  • Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies (Algonquin)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Lynn Nicholas, The Rape of Europa (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Jane Mayer & Jill Abramson, Strange Justice (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Abraham Verghese, My Own Country (Simon & Schuster)
  • Sherwin Nuland, How We Die (Knopf)
  • John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive (Knopf)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Mikal Gilmore, Shot in the Heart (Doubleday)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • Julia Frey, Toulouse-Lautrec (Viking)
  • Brenda Maddox, D.H. Lawrence (Simon & Schuster)
  • Edward O. Wilson, Naturalist (Island Press)
  • Neal Gabler, Winchell (Knopf)

Poetry Winner

  • Mark Rudman, Rider (Wesleyan/New England)

Poetry Finalists

  • Dorianne Laux, What We Carry (BOA Editions)
  • Marilyn Hacker, Winter Numbers (Norton)
  • Philip Levine, The Simple Truth (Knopf)
  • Mary Jo Salter, Sunday Skaters (Knopf)

Criticism Winner

  • Gerald Early, The Culture of Bruising (Ecco)

Criticism Finalists

  • Jahan Ramazani, Poetry of Mourning (University of Chicago)
  • Harold Bloom, The Western Canon (Harcourt Brace)
  • Katha Pollitt, Reasonable Creatures (Knopf)
  • Anne Hollander, Sex and Suits (Knopf)

Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award Winner

  • JoAnn Gutin

Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement in Publishing Winner

  • William Maxwell