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.

2001 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz (Random House)

Fiction Finalists

  • Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Alice Munro, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories (Knopf)
  • Ann Patchett, Bel Canto (HarperCollins)
  • Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days (Doubleday)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Nicholson Baker, Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (Random House)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Nina Bernstein, The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care (Pantheon)
  • Jan T. Gross, Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton University)
  • Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Random House)
  • Sam Roberts, The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the Electric Chair (Random House)

Biography/Autobiography Winner

  • Adam Sisman, Boswell’s Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Biography/Autobiography Finalists

  • Paula Fox, Borrowed Finery: A Memoir (Holt)
  • David Hajdu, Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina and Richard Farina (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Katherine Clark, Milking the Moon: A Southerner’s Story of Life on This Planet (Crown)
  • Barry Werth, The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)

Poetry Winner

  • Albert Goldbarth, Saving Lives (Ohio Statue University)

Poetry Finalists

  • Louise Gluck, The Seven Ages (Ecco/HarperCollins)
  • Bob Hicok, Animal Soul (Invisible Cities)
  • Jane Hirshfield, Given Sugar, Given Salt (HarperCollins)
  • Czeslaw Milosz, A Treatise on Poetry (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Criticism Winner

  • Martin Amis, The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews, 1971-2000 (Talk Miramax)

Criticism Finalists

  • H.J. Jackson, Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books (Yale University)
  • W.D. Snodgrass, De/Compositions: 101 Good Poems Gone Wrong (Graywolf)
  • Rebecca Solnit, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art (University of Georgia)
  • Joy Williams, Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals (Lyons)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Winner

  • Michael Gorra

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

  • Jason Epstein