Today the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) announced the finalists for its 2016 book awards. The annual prizes honor outstanding books in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, autobiography, biography, and criticism published in the United States in the previous year.
Listed below are the finalists in poetry, fiction, and autobiography. For a complete list of the thirty finalists, visit the NBCC website.
The finalists in poetry are Ishion Hutchinson’s House of Lords and Commons (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Tyehimba Jess’s Olio (Wave); Bernadette Mayer’s Works and Days (New Directions); Robert Pinsky’s At the Foundling Hospital (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); and Monica Youn’s Blackacre (Graywolf).
The finalists in fiction are Michael Chabon’s Moonglow (Harper); Louise Erdrich’s LaRose (Harper); Adam Haslett’s Imagine Me Gone (Little, Brown); Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth (Harper); and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time (Penguin).
In autobiography, the finalists are Marion Coutts’s The Iceberg (Black Cat); the late Jenny Diski’s In Gratitude (Bloomsbury); Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl (Knopf); Hisham Matar’s The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between (Random House); and Kao Kalia Yang’s The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father (Metropolitan).
The winners will be announced on March 16 at a ceremony in New York City, which is free and open to the public.
In addition to the finalists, the NBCC announced the recipients of three special prizes: Margaret Atwood received the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award; Yaa Gyasi received the fourth annual John Leonard Prize for a first book for her debut novel, Homegoing (Knopf); and Michelle Dean received the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.
First given in 1975 and considered among the most prestigious literary prizes in the United States, the National Book Critics Circle Awards are the only prizes conferred by a jury of working critics and book review editors. The NBCC is comprised of a thousand critics and editors across the country, and the twenty-four-member board of directors selects the awards finalists.