2014 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced

Founded in 1974, the National Book Critics Circle was established to honor outstanding writingNBCC and fostering a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature.

On March 12, the NBCC announced the winners of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Awards.  Three special awards were also given out: the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, awarded to  Alexandra Schwartz, assistant editor at The New Yorker; the John Leonard Prize for the best debut, awarded to Phil Klay, for his short story collection Redeployment (which also won the National Book Award for Fiction); and the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Pulitzer and Nobel Prize laureate, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Toni Morrison.

Congratulations to all!


  • WINNER: Lila by Marilynne Robinson
  • An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
  • Euphoria by Lily King
  • On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee


  • WINNER: The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation by David Brion Davis
  • The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book by Peter Finn and Petra Couvee
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer
  • Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free by Hector Tobar


  • WINNER: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  • Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones
  • The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon by Willie Perdomo
  • Once in the West by Christian Wiman
  • Abide by Jake Adam York


  • WINNER: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
  • The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait by Blake Bailey
  • The Other Side by Lacy M. Johnson
  • Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart
  • There Was and There Was Not by Meline Toumani


  • WINNER: Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr
  • William Wells Brown by Ezra Greenspan
  • Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson by S. C. Gwynne
  • Literchoor Is My Beat: A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions by Ian S. MacNiven
  • The Crusades of Cesar Chavez by Miriam Pawel


  • WINNER: The Essential Ellen Willis by Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz
  • On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
  • Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty by Vikram Chandra
  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  • What Would Lynne Tillman Do? by Lynne Tillman


  • WINNER: Alexandra Schwartz
  • Charles Finch
  • K. Fischer
  • Benjamin Moser
  • Lisa Russ Spaar


JOHN LEONARD PRIZE – Phil Klay, for Redeployment

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