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.

2003 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Edward P. Jones, The Known World (Amistad)

Fiction Finalists

  • Monica Ali, Brick Lane (Scribner)
  • Richard Powers, The Time of Our Singing (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Tobias Wolff, Old School (Knopf)
  • Caryl Phillips, A Distant Shore (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Paul Hendrickson, Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Caroline Alexander, The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty (Viking Press)
  • Anne Applebaum, Gulag (Doubleday)
  • Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx (Scribner)
  • William T. Vollmann, Rising Up and Rising Down (McSweeneys)

Biography Winner

  • William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (Norton)

Biography Finalists

  • Paul Elie, The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Blake Bailey, A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates (Picador)
  • George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale University Press)
  • Carol Loeb Shloss, Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Poetry Winner

  • Susan Stewart, Columbarium (University of Chicago Press)

Poetry Finalists

  • Carolyn Forche, Blue Hour (HarperCollins)
  • Tony Hoagland, What Narcissism Means to Me (Graywolf)
  • Venus Khoury-Ghata, translated by Marilyn Hacker, She Says (Graywolf)
  • Mary Szybist, Granted (Alice James Books)

Criticism Winner

  • Rebecca Solnit, River of Shadows (Viking Press)

Criticism Finalists

  • Dagoberto Gilb, Gritos (Grove)
  • Nick Hornby, Songbook (McSweeneys)
  • Ross King, Michelangelo & the Popes Ceiling (Walker)
  • Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Award Winner

  • Scott McLemee

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

  • Studs Terkel