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The National Book Critics Circle finalists are...

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It may not be as famous as the Pulitzer or as remunerative as the Booker, but the National Book Critics Circle Award is high in prestige among writers and publishers. Among the 30 nominees in six categories are National Book Award winners Jesmyn Ward for her autobiographical work Men We Reaped and George Packer for his nonfiction book The Unwinding. One of EW’s picks for best novels of 2013, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, is in the running in the fiction category. The highest-profile nominated novel, however, is Donna Tartt’s best-seller The Goldfinch. See the full list of finalists below:


Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave (Knopf)

Aleksandar Hemon, The Book of My Lives (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby (Viking)

Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped (Bloomsbury)

Amy Wilentz, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti (Simon & Schuster)


Scott Anderson, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Doubleday)

Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (Yale University Press)

John Eliot Gardiner, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (Knopf)

Linda Leavell, Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Mark Thompson, Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kis (Cornell University Press)


Hilton Als, White Girls (McSweeney’s)

Mary Beard, Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations (Liveright)

Jonathan Franzen, The Kraus Project: Essays by Karl Kraus, translated and annotated by Jonathan Franzen with Paul Reitter and Daniel Kehlmann (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Janet Malcolm, Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Franco Moretti, Distant Reading (Verso)


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (Knopf)

Alice McDermott, Someone (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Javier Marías, The Infatuations, translated by Margaret Jull Costa (Knopf)

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (Viking)

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch (Little, Brown)


Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy, Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice (Norton)

Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown)

David Finkel, Thank You for Your Service (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (Knopf)


Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Lucie Brock-Broido, Stay, Illusion (Knopf)

Denise Duhamel, Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Bob Hicok, Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon)

Carmen Gimenez Smith, Milk and Filth (University of Arizona Press)