The finalists for the annual National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award have been announced. The fiction list includes four books that have gotten quite a lot of attention over the last year – the Franzen, Egan, Grossman, and Murray – and one outlier, a novella originally written in 1947 by the 101-year-old Keilson, that was published in English for the first time last year. One might argue that with this set of finalists, the NBCC’s fiction contest is more high-profile this year than the NBA and Booker slates were. Here are the finalists for fiction and non-fiction with excerpts and other links where available. As a side note, the NBCC award is particularly interesting in that it is one of the few major awards that pits American books against overseas (usually British) books.
- Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (at The Millions, Egan’s Year in Reading, excerpt)
- Jonathan Franzen, Freedom (at The Millions, excerpt)
- David Grossman, To the End of the Land (review)
- Hans Keilson, Comedy in a Minor Key (profile)
- Paul Murray, Skippy Dies (review, Murray’s Year in Reading, excerpt)
- S.C. Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches (excerpt)
- Jennifer Homans, Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet (excerpt)
- Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (excerpt)
- Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (excerpt)
- Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (excerpt)
For more on the NBCC Awards and the finalists in the other categories, visit PW.