National Book Critics Circle finalists announced


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The National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its 2009 awards in New York today. Author Elizabeth Strout, a 2008 finalist, announced the finalists at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. This year’s recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award is prolific author Joyce Carol Oates.

Fiction Finalists:
Bonnie Jo Campbell, ‘American Salvage’ (Wayne State University Press)
Marlon James, ‘The Book of Night Women’ (Riverhead)
Michelle Huneven, ‘Blame’ (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Hilary Mantel, ‘Wolf Hall’ (Holt)
Jayne Anne Phillips, ‘Lark and Termite’ (Knopf)

Nonfiction Finalists:
Wendy Doniger, ‘The Hindus: An Alternative History’ (Penguin Press)
Greg Grandin, ‘Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City’ (Metropolitan Books)
Richard Holmes, ‘The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science’ (Pantheon)
Tracy Kidder, ‘Strength in What Remains’ (Random House)
William T. Vollmann, ‘Imperial’ (Viking)

Biography Finalists:
Blake Bailey, ‘Cheever: A Life’ (Knopf)
Brad Gooch, ‘Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor’ (Little, Brown)
Benjamin Moser, ‘Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector’ (Oxford University Press)
Stanislao G. Pugliese, ‘Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone’ (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Martha A. Sandweiss, ‘Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line’ (Penguin Press)

Autobiography Finalists:
Diana Athill, ‘Somewhere Towards the End’ (Norton)
Debra Gwartney, ‘Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love’ (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Mary Karr, ‘Lit’ (Harper)
Kati Marton, ‘Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America’ (Simon & Schuster)
Edmund White, ‘City Boy’ (Bloomsbury)

Criticism Finalists:
Eula Biss, ‘Notes From No Man’s Land: American Essays’ (Graywolf Press)
Stephen Burt, ‘Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry’ (Graywolf Press)
Morris Dickstein, ‘Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression’ (Norton)
David Hajdu, ‘Heroes and Villains: Essays on Music, Movies, Comics, and Culture’ (Da Capo Press)
Greg Milner, ‘Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music’ (Faber)

Poetry Finalists:
Rae Armantrout, ‘Versed’ (Wesleyan)
Louise Glück, ‘A Village Life’ (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
D.A. Powell, ‘Chronic’ (Graywolf Press)
Eleanor Ross Taylor, ‘Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960-2008’ (Louisiana State University Press)
Rachel Zucker, ‘Museum of Accidents’ (Wave Books)

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: Joan Acocella
Finalists: Michael Antman, William Deresiewicz, Donna Seaman, Wendy Smith

The awards will be announced in March.

-- Carolyn Kellogg