The National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced last night and the hardware keeps piling up for Hilary Mantel. Wolf Hall has already taken home the Booker Prize (and is in the running for the Rooster). Mantel's book has also held a spot in our Top Ten of late. In the non-fiction category, the prize went to The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes. In the criticism category, the prize went to Eula Biss' Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, which was endorsed by both Nick Flynn and Cristina Henríquez in our Year in Reading last year. Rounding out the rest of the winners, autobiography went to Diana Athill for Somewhere Towards the End, biography to Blake Bailey for Cheever, and poetry to Rae Armantrout for Versed.
Award season is hitting its stride, and this year's National Book Award finalists have been announced. The big name among the fiction finalists is Column McCann. He is joined by an intriguing mix of newcomers and lesser known writers. Overall, it looks like the National Book Award is trying to push the envelope a bit this year, unsurprising with the likes of Junot Díaz and Lydia Millet on the judging panel. Not making the fiction cut are notable writers like Thomas Pynchon, Richard Russo, and Lorrie Moore. Here's a list of the finalists in all four categories with bonus links and excerpts where available: Fiction: American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (excerpt, review, Most Anticipated) In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin (excerpt) Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips (excerpt) Far North by Marcel Theroux (excerpt) Nonfiction: Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook by David M. Carroll (excerpt) Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species by Sean B. Carroll (excerpt) Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin (excerpt) The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy by Adrienne Mayor (excerpt [pdf]) The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles (excerpt) Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout (excerpt) Or to Begin Again by Ann Lauterbach (poem) Speak Low by Carl Phillips (poem) Open Interval by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon (poem [pdf]) Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy by Keith Waldrop (excerpt [pdf]) Young People's Literature: Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose Stitches by David Small Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia