National Book Critics Circle Awards announce 2017 nominees

The nominees for the National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced Tuesday, with established novelists Louise Erdrich, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, and Ann Patchett leading the fiction category.

Erdrich is nominated for LaRose, Chabon for Moonglow, Smith for Swing Time, Patchett for Commonwealth, and Adam Haslett for Imagine Me Gone. Notably excluded from the slate is Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, which won this year's National Book Award for Fiction and boasts high-profile fans like Oprah Winfrey and President Barack Obama.

The winners will be announced March 16 in New York City. In addition to the awards in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Autobiography, Biography, and Criticism, the NBCC will present Margaret Atwood with The Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement, Yaa Gyasi with the John Leonard Prize for a first book (for her novel Homegoing), and Michelle Dean with the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

See the rest of the NBCC nominees below.

GENERAL NONFICTION

Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Jane Mayer, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War
John Edgar Wideman, Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Marion Coutts, The Iceberg
Jenny Diski, In Gratitude
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
Hisham Matar, The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between
Kao Kalia Yang, The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father

BIOGRAPHY

Nigel Cliff, Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story
Ruth Franklin, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
Joe Jackson, Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary
Michael Tisserand, Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White
Frances Wilson, Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey

POETRY

Ishion Hutchinson, House of Lords and Commons
Tyehimba Jess, Olio
Bernadette Mayer, Works and Days
Robert Pinsky, At the Foundling Hospital
Monica Youn, Blackacre

CRITICISM

Carol Anderson, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
Mark Greif, Against Everything: Essays
Alice Kaplan, Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic
Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
Peter Orner, Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live

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National Book Critics Circle Awards nominees 2017 include Ann Patchett, Michael Chabon, more

Ann Patchett, Michael Chabon and Zadie Smith were among the nominees announced Tuesday for the National Book Critics Circle Awards.

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Books by Louise Erdrich and former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky also were among 30 finalists in six competitive categories selected by the 42-year-old organization.

The critics circle bypassed Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad,” winner of the National Book Award for fiction and one of last year’s most highly praised novels. It did include the winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction, Ibram X. Kendi’s “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.”

Margaret Atwood, the celebrated Canadian author known for such novels as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Cat’s Eye,” will receive a lifetime achievement prize. Honorary awards also will be presented to Yaa Gyasi for best debut novel, “Homegoing,” and to Michelle Dean for excellence in reviewing.

Winners will be announced March 16.

Patchett’s “Commonwealth,” Chabon’s “Moonglow” and Smith’s “Swing Time” were all fiction finalists, along with Erdrich’s “LaRose” and Adam Haslett’s “Imagine Me Gone.”

Besides Kendi’s book, nonfiction nominees were Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right,” Viet Thanh Nguyen’s “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War” and John Edgar Wideman’s “Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File.”

In autobiography, the nominees were Marion Coutts’ “The Iceberg,” Jenny Diski’s “In Gratitude,” Hope Jahren’s “Lab Girl,” Hisham Matar’s “The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between” and Kao Kalia Yang’s “The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father.”

Biography finalists were Nigel Cliff’s “Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story,” Ruth Franklin’s “Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life,” Joe Jackson’s “Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary,” Michael Tisserand’s “Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White” and Frances Wilson’s “Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey.”

Pinsky’s “At the Foundling Hospital” was a poetry finalist, along with Ishion Hutchinson’s “House of Lords and Commons,” Tyehimba Jess’ “Olio,” Bernadette Mayer’s “Works and Days” and Monica Youn’s “Blackacre.”

In criticism, the finalists were Carol Anderson’s “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide,” Mark Greif’s “Against Everything: Essays,” Alice Kaplan’s “Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic,” Olivia Laing’s “The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone” and Peter Orner’s “Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live.”

The National Book Critics Circle is made up of about 1,000 critics, book review editors and supporting members.

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