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.

1996 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Gina Berriault, Women in Their Beds (Counterpoint)

Fiction Finalists

  • Louis Begley, About Schmidt (Knopf)
  • Andre Dubus, Dancing After Hours (Knopf)
  • Jamaica Kincaid, The Autobiography of My Mother (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Henry Roth, From Bondage (St. Martin’s)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Jonathan Raban, Bad Land (Pantheon)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • David Denby, The Great Books (Simon & Schuster)
  • Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners (Knopf)
  • Richard Kluger, Ashes to Ashes (Knopf)
  • Bernard Lewis, The Middle East (Scribner)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes (Scribner)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • Peter Conn, Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography (Cambridge)
  • David Hajdu, Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Alan Shapiro, The Last Happy Occasion (Chicago)
  • Jan Swafford, Charles Ives: A Life in Music (Norton)

Poetry Winner

  • Robert Hass, Sun Under Wood (Ecco)

Poetry Finalists

  • Stephen Dunn, Loosestrife (Norton)
  • Martín Espada, Imagine the Angels of Bread (Norton)
  • Jane Shore, Music Minus One (Picador)
  • C.K. Williams, The Vigil (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Criticism Winner

  • William Gass, Finding a Form (Knopf)

Criticism Finalists

  • Gene H. Bell-Villada, Art for Art’s Sake and Literary Life (Nebraska)
  • Margaret Anne Doody, The True Story of the Novel (Rutgers)
  • Dan Hofstadter, The Love Affair as a Work of Art (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Cynthia Ozick, Fame and Folly (Knopf)

Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award Winner

  • Dennis Drabelle

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

  • Albert Murray