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.

2018 Winners & Finalists


  • Anna Burns, Milkman (Graywolf)
  • Patrick Chamoiseau, Slave Old Man (The New Press)
  • Denis Johnson, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden (Random House)
  • Rachel Kushner, The Mars Room (Scribner)
  • Luis Alberto Urre, The House of Broken Angels (Little, Brown)


  • Steve Coll, Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afganistan (Penguin Press)
  • Francisco Cantu, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border (Riverhead Books)
  • Greg Lukianoff and Janathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (Penguin Press)
  • Adam Winkler, We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (Liveright)
  • Lawrence Wright, God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State (Knopf)


  • Christopher Bonanos, Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous (Henry Holt & Company)
  • Craig Brown, Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Yunte Huang, Inseperable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History (Liveright)
  • Mark Lamster, The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century (Little, Brown)
  • Jane Leavy, The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World he Created (Harper/Harper Collins)


  • Nora Krug, Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home (Scribner)
  • Ricard Beard, The Day That Went Missing: A Family’s Story (Little, Brown)
  • Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir (Catapult)
  • Rigoberto Gonzalez, What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth (University of Wisconsin Press)
  • Nell Painter, Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over (Counterpoint)
  • Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir (Random House)


  • Ada Limón, The Carrying (Milweed)
  • Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Books)
  • Erika Meitner, Holy Moly Carry Me (Boa)
  • Diane Seuss, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (Graywold Press)
  • Adam Zagajewski, Asymmetry, translated by Clare Cavanagh (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


  • Zadie Smith, Feel Free: Essays (Penguin Press)
  • Robert Christgau, Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017 (Duke University Press)
  • Stephen Greenblatt, Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics (W.W. Norton)
  • Terrance Hayes, To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight (Wave)
  • Lacy M. Johnson, The Reckonings: Essays (Scribner)

    John Leonard Prize

  • Tommy Orange, There There (Knop)

    Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

  • David Biespiel
  • Julia Klein
  • Becca Rothfield
  • Wendy Smith

    Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Arte Público Press