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.

2004 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Fiction Finalists

  • Edwidge Danticat, The Dew Breaker (Knopf)
  • Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty (Bloomsbury)
  • David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (Random House)
  • Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (Houghton Mifflin)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History (Viking)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Kevin Boyle, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age (Henry Holt)
  • Edward Conlon, Blue Blood (Riverhead Books)
  • David Shipler, The Working Poor: Invisible in America (Knopf)
  • Timothy Tyson, Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story (Crown)

Biography Winner

  • Mark Stevens & Annalyn Swan, De Kooning: An American Master (Knopf)

Biography Finalists

  • Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (Penguin Press)
  • Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Vol. 1 (Simon & Schuster)
  • Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (W.W. Norton)
  • John Guy, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart (Houghton Mifflin)

Poetry Winner

  • Adrienne Rich, The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004 (W.W. Norton)

Poetry Finalists

  • Brigit Pegeen Kelly, The Orchard (BOA Editions)
  • D.A. Powell, Cocktails (Graywolf)
  • James Richardson, Interglacial (Ausable Press)
  • Gary Snyder, Danger on Peaks (Shoemaker & Hoard)

Criticism Winner

  • Patrick Neate, Where You’re At: Notes From the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet (Riverhead Books)

Criticism Finalists

  • Richard Howard, Paper Trail: Selected Prose, 1965-2003 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Graham Robb, Strangers: Homosexual Love in the 19th Century (W.W. Norton)
  • Craig Seligman, Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me (Counterpoint)
  • James Wood, The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Winner

  • David Orr

Ivan R. Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

  • Louis Rubin Jr.