National Book Critics Circle Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced today. Of the thirty finalists, one winner in each of the six categories will be selected this February to receive the prestigious literary prize. 

The finalists in poetry are David Ferry for Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations (University of Chicago Press), Lucia Perillo for On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths (Copper Canyon Press), Allan Peterson for Fragile Acts (McSweeney’s Books), D. A. Powell for Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf Press), and A. E. Stallings for Olives (Triquarterly).

The finalists in fiction are Laurent Binet for HHhH, translated by Sam Taylor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Ben Fountain for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco), Adam Johnson for The Orphan Master’s Son (Random House), Lydia Millet for Magnificence (W. W. Norton), and Zadie Smith for NW (Penguin Press).

The finalists in autobiography are Reyna Grande for The Distance Between Us (Atria Books), Maureen N. McLane for My Poets (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), the late Anthony Shadid for House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Leanne Shapton for Swimming Studies (Blue Rider Press), and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o for In the House of the Interpreter (Pantheon).

For a complete list of finalists, including those in the additional categories of general nonfiction, biography, and criticism, and for profiles of each author, visit the National Book Critics Circle Tumblr page or the official blog of the NBCC, Critical Mass.

The National Book Critics Circle Awards—the only national prizes selected by a panel of established literary critics—have been given annually since 1976 for books published in the United States in the previous year. The NBCC also honors one of its member critics with the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, and awards the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award for a distinguished author, editor, publisher, or literary institution, each year.

The winners of the 2012 awards will be announced on Thursday, February 28 at a ceremony at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in New York City. A finalists reading will be held on February 27.