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.

2005 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • E.L. Doctorow, The March (Random House)

Fiction Finalists

  • Mary Gaitskill, Veronica (Pantheon)
  • Andrea Levy, Small Island (Picador)
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Knopf)
  • William T. Vollmann, Europe Central (Viking)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Svetlana Alexievich, Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History of Nuclear Disaster (Dalkey Archive Press)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East (Knopf)
  • Ellen Meloy, Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild (Pantheon)
  • Caroline Moorehead, Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books)
  • Anthony Shadid, Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War (Henry Holt)

Biography Winner

  • Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Knopf)

Biography Finalists

  • Carolyn Burke, Lee Miller: A Life (Knopf)
  • Jonathan Coe, Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson (Continuum International)
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Simon & Schuster)
  • Ron Powers, Mark Twain: A Life (Free Press)

Autobiography/Memoir Winner

  • Francine du Plessix Gray, Them: A Memoir of Parents (Penguin Press)

Autobiography/Memoir Finalists

  • Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking (Knopf)
  • Judith Moore, Fat Girl: A True Story (Gotham Books)
  • Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City (Knopf)
  • Vikram Seth, Two Lives (HarperCollins)

Poetry Winner

  • Jack Gilbert, Refusing Heaven (Knopf)

Poetry Finalists

  • Simon Armitage, The Shout (Harcourt)
  • Blas Manuel de Luna, Bent to the Earth (Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press)
  • Richard Siken, Crush (Yale University Press)
  • Ron Slate, The Incentive of the Maggot (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner Books)

Criticism Winner

  • William Logan, The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin (Columbia University Press)

Criticism Finalists

  • Hal Crowther, Gather at the River: Notes From the Post-Millennial South (Louisiana State Univ. Press)
  • Arthur Danto, Unnatural Wonders (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • John Updike, Still Looking: Essays on American Art (Knopf)
  • Eliot Weinberger, What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles (New Directions)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Winner

  • Wyatt Mason

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Finalists

  • Katherine Powers
  • Allen Barra
  • Carlin Romano

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

  • Bill Henderson, author and director of The Pushcart Press