Every year, the National Book Critics Circle presents awards for the finest books published in English. Below are the past winners for the National Book Critics Circle annual awards. (List under construction)


2004 Winners:




2003 Winners:



2002 Winners:


  • Fiction: Ian McEwan, Atonement (Doubleday/Nan A. Talese)  See NBCC commentary on this book.
  • General Nonfiction:  Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (Basic Books)
  • Biography/Autobiography:  Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place, Vol. II (Knopf)
  • Poetry:  B.H. Fairchild, Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (W.W. Norton)
  • Criticism:  William H. Gass, Tests of Time (Knopf)
  • Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: Maureen N. McLane
  • Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Howard


2001 Winners


  • Fiction: Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald
  • General Nonfiction: Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, Nicholson Baker
  • Biography and Autobiography: Boswellís Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr.Johnson, Adam Sisman
  • Poetry: Saving Lives, Albert Goldbarth See NBCC commentary on this book
  • Criticism: The War Against Cliché: Essays and Reviews, 1971-2000, Martin Amis


2000 Winners


  • Fiction: Being Dead, Jim Crace
  • General Nonfiction: Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, Ted Conover
  • Biography and Autobiography: Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, Herbert P. Bix
  • Poetry: Carolina Ghost Woods, Judy Jordan
  • Criticism: Quarrel & Quandary, Cynthia Ozick


1999 Winners


  • Fiction:  Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem
  • General Nonfiction: Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior, Jonathan Weiner
  • Biography and Autobiography: The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, Henry Wiencek
  • Poetry: Ordinary Words, Ruth Stone
  • Criticism: Selected Non-Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges


1998 Winners:


  • Fiction:  The Love of a Good Woman, Alice Munro
  • General Nonfiction: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families, Philip Gourevitch
  • Biography and Autobiography: A Beautiful Mind, Sylvia Nasar
  • Poetry: The Bird Catcher, Marie Ponsot
  • Criticism: Visions of Jazz, Gary Giddins


1997 Winners:


  • Fiction: The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald (Mariner/Houghton)
  • General Nonfiction:The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Biography/ Autobiography: Ernie Pyle's War: America's Eyewitness to World War II by James Tobin (Free Press),
  • Poetry:  Black Zodiac , by Charles Wright, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Criticism: Making Waves by Mario Vargas Llosa (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Ivan Sandrof Award, Contribution to American Arts & Letters:Leslie Fiedler
  • Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award:Thomas Mallon


1996 Winners:


  • Fiction: Women in Their Beds, Gina Berriault (Counterpoint)
  • General Non-Fiction: Bad Land, Jonathan Raban (Pantheon)
  • Biography/Autobiography: Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt(Scribner)
  • Poetry: Sun Under Wood, Robert Hass (Ecco Press)
  • Criticism: Finding a Form, William Gass (Knopf)
  • Ivan Sandrof Award, Contribution to American Arts & Letters Albert Murray


1995 Winners:


  • Fiction: Mrs. Ted Bliss, Stanley Elkin (Hyperion)
  • General Non-Fiction: A Civil Action, Jonathon Harr (Random House)
  • Biography/Autobiography Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson, Robert Polito (Knopf)
  • Poetry: Time and Money, William Matthews (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Criticism The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France, Robert Darnton (W.W. Norton)
  • Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award Laurie Stone
  • Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Acheivement in Publishing Alfred Kanan and Elizabeth Hardwick


1994 Winners:


  • Fiction: The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (Viking)
  • General Non-Fiction: The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War, Lynn H. Nicholas (Knopf)
  • Biography/Autobiography Shot in the Heart, Mikal Gilmore (Doubleday)
  • Poetry: Rider, Mark Rudman (Wesleyan University Press)
  • Criticism The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature and Modern American Culture, Gerald Early (Ecco Press)
  • Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award JoAnn C. Gutin
  • Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Acheivement in Publishing William Maxwell


1993 Winners:


  • Fiction: A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines (Knopf)
  • General Non-Fiction: The Land Where the Blues Began, Alan Lomax (Pantheon)
  • Biography/Autobiography Genet, Edmund White (Knopf)
  • Poetry: My Alexandria, Mark Doty (University of Illinois)
  • Criticism Opera in America: A Cultural History, John Dizikes (Yale University)
  • Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award Brigitte Frase


1992 Winners:


  • Fiction: All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy (Knopf)
  • General Non-Fiction: Young Men and Fire, Norman Maclean (University of Chicago Press)
  • Biography/Autobiography Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World, Carol Brightman (Clarkson N. Potter)
  • Poetry: Collected Shorter Poems 1946-1991, Hayden Carruth (Copper Canyon Press)
  • Criticism Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America, Garry Wills (Simon & Schuster)
  • Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award Elizabeth Ward


1991 Winners:


  • Fiction: A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (Knopf)
  • General Non-Fiction: Backlash: The Undeclared War Against America Women, Susan Faludi (Crown)
  • Biography/Autobiography Patrimony: A True Story, Philip Roth (Simon & Schuster)
  • Poetry: Heaven and Earth: A Cosmology, Albert Goldbarth (University of Georgia Press)
  • Criticism Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory,Lawrence L. Langer (Yale University Press)
  • Nona Balakian Excellence in Reviewing Award George Scialabba


1990 Winners:


  • Fiction: Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (Knopf)
  • General Non-Fiction: The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America, Shelby Steele (HarperCollins)
  • Biography/Autobiography Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. II, Robert A. Caro (Knopf)
  • Poetry: Bitter Angel, Amy Gerstler (North Point Press)
  • Criticism Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present, Arthur C. Danto (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Acheivement in Publishing Donald Keene


1989 Winners:


  • Fiction: Billy Bathgate, E.L. Doctorow (Random House)
  • General Non-Fiction: The Broken Cord, Michael Dorris (Harper & Row)
  • Biography/Autobiography A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, Geoffrey C. Ward (Harper & Row)
  • Poetry: Transparent Gestures, Rodney Jones .publisher$11">(Houghton Mifflin)
  • Criticism Not by Fact Alone: Essays on the Writing and Reading of History, John Clive (Knopf)
  • Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Acheivement in Publishing James Laughlin


1988 Winners:


  • Fiction: The Middleman and Other Stories, Bharati Mukherjee (Crest Press)
  • General Non-Fiction: Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, Taylor Branch (Simon & Schuster)
  • Biography/Autobiography: Oscar Wilde, Richard Ellman .publisher$4">(Knopf)
  • Poetry: That One Day, Donald Hall .publisher$11">(Houghton Mifflin)
  • Criticism: Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author, Clifford Geertz (Stanford University Press)


1987 Winners:


  • Fiction: The Counterlife, Philip Roth (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • General Non-Fiction: The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes (Simon & Schuster)
  • Biography/Autobiography Chaucer: His Life, His Works, His World, Donald R. Howard (Abrahams/Dutton)
  • Poetry: Flesh and Blood, C.K. Williams (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Criticism Dance Writings, Edwin Denby, edited by Robert Cornfield and William MacKay (Knopf)
  • Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Acheivement in Publishing Robert Giroux


1986 Winners:


  • Fiction: Kate Vaiden, Reynolds Price (Atheneum)
  • General Non-Fiction: War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War, John W. Dower (Pantheon)
  • Biography/Autobiography Tombee: Portrait of a Cotton Planter, Theodore Rosengarten (Morrow)
  • Poetry: Wild Gratitude, Edward Hirsch (Knopf)
  • Criticism Less Than One: Selected Essays, Joseph Brodsky (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)


1985 Winners:


  • Fiction: The Accidental Tourist, Anne Tyler (Knopf)
  • General Non-Fiction: Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families, J. Anthony Lukas (Knopf)
  • Biography/Autobiography Henry James: A Life, Leon Edel (Harper & Row)
  • Poetry: The Triumph of Achilles, Louise Gluck (Ecco Press)
  • Criticism Habitations of the Word: Essays, William H. Gass (Simon & Schuster)


1984 Winners:


  • Fiction: Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich (Holt, Reinhart & Winston)
  • General Non-Fiction: Weapons and Hope, Freeman Dyson (Harper & Row)
  • Biography/Autobiography Dostoevsky: The Years of Ordeal, 1850-1859, Joseph Frank (Princeton University Press)
  • Poetry: The Dead and the Living, Sharon Olds (Knopf)
  • Criticism Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry:, Robert Hass .publisher$560">(Ecco Press)
  • Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Acheivement in Publishing The Library of America


1983 Winners:


  • Fiction: Ironweed, William Kennedy (Viking)
  • General Non-Fiction: The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House, Seymour M. Hersch (Summit Books)
  • Biography/Autobiography Minor Characters, Joyce Johnson (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Poetry: The Changing Light at Sandover, James Merrill (Antheneum)
  • Criticism Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism, John Updike (Knopf)


1982 Winners:


  • Fiction: George Mills, Stanley Elkin (E.P. Dutton)
  • General Non-Fiction: The Path of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Robert Caro (Knopf)
  • Poetry: Antarctic Traveler, Katha Pollitt (Knopf)
  • Criticism The Second American Revolution and Other Essays, Gore Vidal (Random House)
  • Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Acheivement in Publishing Leslie A. Marchand


1981 Winners:


  • Fiction: Rabbit Is Rich, John Updike (Knopf)
  • General Non-Fiction: The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould (Norton)
  • Poetry: A Coast of Trees, A.R. Ammons (Norton)
  • Criticism A Virgil Thomson Reader, Virgil Thomson (Houghton Mifflin)