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.

1999 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Jonathan Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn (Doubleday)

Fiction Finalists

  • A. Manette Ansay, Midnight Champagne (Morrow)
  • Frederick Busch, The Night Inspector (Harmony: Crown)
  • J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (Viking)
  • David Gates, The Wonders of the Invisible World: Stories (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Jonathan Weiner, Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Jane Brox, Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History (Beacon)
  • John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (Norton)
  • Patricia Hampl, I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory (Norton)
  • Jean-Paul Kauffmann, The Black Room at Longwood: Napoleon’s Exile on Saint Helena (Four Walls Eight Windows)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Henry Wiencek, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White (St. Martin’s)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Vol. II: Darker Reflections (Pantheon)
  • Jean Strouse, Morgan: American Financier (Random)
  • Judith Thurman, Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette (Knopf)
  • Susan E. Tifft & Alex S. Jones, The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times (Little, Brown)

Poetry Winner

  • Ruth Stone, Ordinary Words (Paris Press)

Poetry Finalists

  • Rafael Campo, Diva (Duke Univ. Press)
  • Tory Dent, HIV, Mon Amour (Sheep Meadow)
  • Rita Dove, On the Bus With Rosa Parks (Norton)
  • Susan Kingsolving, Dailies & Rushes (Grove)

Criticism Winner

  • Jorge Louis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions (Viking)

Criticism Finalists

  • Stuart Klawans, Film Follies: The Cinema Out of Order (Cassell)
  • William Logan, Reputations of the Tongue: On Poets and Poetry (Univ. Pr. of Florida)
  • Michael Schmidt, Lives of the Poets (Knopf)
  • David Shields, Black Planet: Facing Race During an NBA Season (Crown)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Winner

  • Benjamin Schwarz

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

  • Pauline Kael
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti