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.

2006 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (Grove/Atlantic)

Fiction Finalists

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (Knopf)
  • Dave Eggers, What Is the What (McSweeney’s)
  • Richard Ford, The Lay of the Land (Knopf)
  • Cormac McCarthy, The Road (Knopf)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Simon Schama, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution (Ecco)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Patrick Cockburn, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq (Verso)
  • Anne Fessler, The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade (Penguin Press)
  • Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin Press)
  • Sandy Tolan, The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East (Bloomsbury)

Biography Winner

  • Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon (St.Martin’s Press)

Biography Finalists

  • Debby Applegate, The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (Doubleday)
  • Taylor Branch, At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968 (Simon& Schuster)
  • Frederick Brown, Flaubert: A Biography (Little, Brown)
  • Jason Roberts, A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler (HarperCollins)

Autobiography/Memoir Winner

  • Daniel Mendelsohn, The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (HarperCollins)

Autobiography/Memoir Finalists

  • Donald Antrim, The Afterlife (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Alexander Masters, Stuart: A Life Backwards (Delacorte)
  • Teri Jentz, Strange Piece of Paradise (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Poetry Winner

  • Troy Jollimore, Tom Thomson in Purgatory (Margie/Intuit House)

Poetry Finalists

  • Daisy Fried, My Brother is Getting Arrested Again (University of Pittsburgh Press)
  • Miltos Sachtouris, Poems (1945-1971) (Archipelego Books)
  • Frederick Seidel, Ooga-Booga (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • W.D. Snodgrass, Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions)

Criticism Winner

  • Lawrence Weschler, Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences (McSweeney’s)

Criticism Finalists

  • Bruce Bawer: While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West From Within (Doubleday)
  • Frederick Crews, Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays (Shoemaker & Hoard)
  • Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion As a Natural Phenomenon (Viking)
  • Lia Purpura, On Looking: Essays (Sarabande Books)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Winner

  • Steven G. Kellman

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Finalists

  • Ron Charles
  • Kathryn Harrison
  • Gideon Lewis-Kraus
  • Donna Rifkind

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

  • John Leonard