The National Book Critics Circle Award finalists for the publishing year 2017 — deep breath — have been announced!


  • Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid ¦ Amazon
  • The Ninth Hour, by Alice McDermott ¦ Amazon
  • The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy ¦ Amazon
  • Improvement, by Joan Silber ¦ Amazon
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward ¦ Amazon


  • Gulf: The Making of An American Sea, by Jack Davis ¦ Amazon
  • The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, by Frances FitzGerald ¦ Amazon
  • The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, by Masha Gressen ¦ Amazon
  • Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, by Kapka Kassabova ¦ Amazon
  • A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes, by Adam Rutherford ¦ Amazon


  • Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Frasier ¦ Amazon
  • The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography, by Edmund Gordon ¦ Amazon
  • The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek, by Howard Markel ¦ Amazon
  • Gorbachev: His Life and Times, by William Taubman ¦ Amazon
  • Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times, by Kenneth Whyte ¦ Amazon


  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir, by Thi Bui ¦ Amazon
  • Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay ¦ Amazon
  • Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery, by Henry Marsh ¦ Amazon
  • The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia, by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya and translated from the Russian by Anna Summers ¦ Amazon
  • Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China, by Xioulu Guo ¦ Amazon


  • Fourth Person Singular, by Nuar Alsadir ¦ Amazon
  • Earthling, by James Longenbach ¦ Amazon
  • Whereas, by Layli Long Soldier ¦ Amazon
  • The Darkness of Snow, by Frank Ormsby ¦ Amazon
  • Directions for Use, by Ana Ristovic and translated from the Serbian by Steven Teref and Maja Teref ¦ Amazon


  • You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks & Other Mixed Messages, by Carina Chocano ¦ Amazon
  • The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story, by Edwidge Danticat ¦ Amazon
  • Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History, by Camille Dungy ¦ Amazon
  • Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, by Valeria Luiselli ¦ Amazon
  • Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News, by Kevin Young ¦ Amazon

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: Charles Finch

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award: John McPhee

John Leonard First Book Prize: Her Body and Other Parties, by Carmen Maria Machado

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