Monday, January 26, 2009

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists

The National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its 2008 awards in New York City Saturday night. I'm particularly excited about the recognition for The Eaves of Heaven, by Andrew X. Pham, author of Catfish and Mandala -- what beautifully written books, two of my all-time favorites. Here are the rest of the finalists:


  • Roberto Bolano, 2666 (FSG)
  • Marilynne Robinson, Home (FSG)
  • Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project (Riverhead)
  • M. Glenn Taylor, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart (West Virginia University Press)
  • Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kittredge (Random House)

  • Rick Bass, Why I Came West (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Helene Cooper, The House on Sugar Beach (Simon & Schuster)
  • Honor Moore, The Bishop's Daughter (W.W. Norton)
  • Andrew X. Pham, The Eaves of Heaven (Harmony Books)
  • Ariel Sabar, My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq (Algonquin)

  • Dexter Filkins, The Forever War (Knopf)
  • Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the Civil War (Knopf)
  • Jane Mayer, The Dark Side (Doubleday)
  • Allan Lichtman, White Protestant Nation (Atlantic Monthly Press)
  • George C. Herring, From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 (Oxford University Press)

  • Paula J. Giddings, Ida: A Sword Among Lions (Amistad)
  • Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in an American Century (Penguin Press)
  • Patrick French, The World is What it is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul (Knopf)
  • Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Norton)
  • Brenda Wineapple, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson & Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Knopf)

  • August Kleinzahler, Sleeping it Off in Rapid City (FSG)
  • Juan Felipe Herrera, Half the World in Light (University of Arizona Press)
  • Devin Johnston, Sources (Turtle Point Press)
  • Pierre Martory, trans by John Ashbery, The Landscapist (Sheep Meadow Press)
  • Brenda Shaughnessy, Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press)

  • Richard Brody, Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard (Metropolitan Books)
  • Vivian Gornick, The Men in My Life (Boston Review/MIT)
  • Joel L. Kraemer, Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds (Doubleday)
  • Reginald Shepherd, Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry (University of Michigan Press)
  • Seth Lerer, Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter (University of Chicago Press)

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