The board of the National Book Critics Circle -- on which I sit -- met Saturday in New York to select the finalists for our 2015 awards. Monday we announced that five finalists have been chosen in six categories: Autobiography, Biography, Criticism, Fiction, Nonficton and Poetry.
Among the finalists are Ta-Nehisi Coates, winner of a MacArthur "genius" fellowship and National Book Award winner, for "Between the World and Me" (Criticism); Booker Prize winner Helen Macdonald for "H is for Hawk" (Autobiography); Paul Beatty for "The Sellout," a satire of race set in Los Angeles (Fiction); historian Mary Beard's "SPQR: A History of Rome" (Nonfiction); Frank Stanford's "What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford" (Poetry); and Karin Wieland for "Dietrich and Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives" (Biography).
Additionally, the recipients of three awards are being announced. Poet and activist Wendell Berry will receive the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement; Kirstin Valdez Quade will be awarded the John Leonard First Book Prize for "Night at the Fiestas"; and the Washington Post's Carlos Lozada will receive the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.
All the awards will be presented at a ceremony at the New School in New York on March 17 at 6 p.m. The event and a reception that follows are open to the public; tickets are $75.
The complete list of NBCC finalists is below.
Karin Wieland and Shelly Frisch, "Dietrich and Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives" (Liveright)
JOHN LEONARD PRIZE
IVAN SANDROF LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
NONA BALAKIAN CITATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN REVIEWING
Finalists for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: