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.

2013 Winners & Finalists

Fiction Winner

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (Knopf)

Fiction Finalists

  • Alice McDermott, Someone (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Javier Marias, The Infatuations (Knopf)
  • Ruth Ozeki, A Tale For The Time Being (Viking)
  • Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch (Little, Brown)

General Nonfiction Winner

  • Sheri Fink, Five Days At Memorial: Life And Death In A Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown)

General Nonfiction Finalists

  • Kevin Cullen And Shelley Murphy, Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster And The Manhunt That Brought Him To Justice (Norton)
  • David Finkel, Thank You For Your Service (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History Of The New America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood And The Prison Of Belief (Knopf)

Biography Winner

  • Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life And His World (Yale University Press)

Biography Finalists

  • Scott Anderson, Lawrence In Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly And The Making Of The Modern Middle East (Doubleday)
  • John Eliot Gardiner, Bach: Music In The Castle Of Heaven (Knopf)
  • Linda Leavell, Holding On Upside Down: The Life And Work Of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Mark Thompson, Birth Certificate: The Story Of Danilo Kis (Cornell University Press)


  • Amy Wilentz, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti (Simon & Schuster)

Autobiography/Memoir Finalists

  • Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave (Knopf)
  • Aleksandar Hemon, The Book Of My Lives (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby (Viking)
  • Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped (Bloomsbury)

Poetry Winner

  • Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Poetry Finalists

  • Lucie Brock-Broido, Stay, Illusion (Knopf)
  • Denise Duhamel, Blowout (University Of Pittsburgh Press)
  • Bob Hicok, Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon)
  • Carmen Gimenez Smith, Milk And Filth (University Of Arizona Press)

Criticism Winner

  • Franco Moretti, Distant Reading (Verso)

Criticism Finalists

  • Hilton Als, White Girls (Mcsweeney’s)
  • Mary Beard, Confronting The Classics: Traditions, Adventures And Innovations (Liveright)
  • Jonathan Franzen, The Kraus Project: Essays By Karl Kraus, Translated And Annotated By Jonathan Franzen With Paul Reiter And Daniel Kehlmann (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Janet Malcolm, Forty-One False Starts: Essays On Artists And Writers (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

John Leonard Prize

  • Anthony Marra, A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Winner

  • Katherine A. Powers

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Finalists

  • Ruth Franklin
  • James Marcus
  • Roxana Robinson
  • Alexandra Schwartz

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

  • Rolando Hinojosa-Smith