Ta-Nehisi Coates, Maggie Nelson, and Lauren Groff among National Book Critics Circle Award Nominees

On Monday, the National Book Critics Circle announced the 30 nominees for their 2015 awards. Nominees are divided into six categories, autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The award ceremony is open to the public and will be held at The New School on March 17.

The National Book Critics Circle Award was founded in 1974. Some past winners include John Updike, Philip Roth, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Marilynne Robinson and Claudia Rankine.

This years nominees include Ta-Nehisi Coates, who already won the National Book award and received a McArthur Genius Grant, for Between the World and Me (criticism); Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (criticism), Lauren Groff for Fates and Furies(fiction), Booker Price winner Helen MacDonald for H is for Hawk (autobiography), Mary Beard’s SPQR: A History of Rome (nonfiction) and Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth (fiction).

Three awards have already been given: Wendell Berry won the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Kirstin Valdez Quade won John Leonard Prize for her short story collection Night at the Fiestas, and Carlos Lozada, associate editor and nonfiction book critic at The Washington Post won the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

Below is this years nominees:


Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World
Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City
George Hodgman, Bettyville
Margo Jefferson, Negroland. [Read our interview with Margo Jefferson.]
Helen Macdonald, H Is for Hawk. [Read our interview with Helen Macdonald.]


Terry Alford, Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth
Charlotte Gordon, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley
T.J. Stiles, Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America
Rosemary Sullivan, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva
Karin Wieland and Shelly Frisch, Dietrich and Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives


Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
Leo Damrosch, Eternity’s Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William Blake
Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts. [Read our review of The Argonauts.]
Colm Tóibín, On Elizabeth Bishop [Read our interview with Colm Tóibín.]
James Wood, The Nearest Thing to Life. [Read our interview with James Wood.]


Paul Beatty, The Sellout
Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies [Read our interview with Lauren Groff and our review of Fates and Furies.]
Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth. [Read our review of The Story of My Teeth.]
Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno. [Read our interview with Anthony Marra and our review of The Tsar of Love and Techno.]
Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen [Read our interview with Ottessa Moshfegh.]


Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Rome
Ari Berman, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America
Jill Leovy, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America
Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic
Brian Seibert, What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing


Ross Gay, Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude
Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn
Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things
Sinéad Morrissey, Parallax and Selected Poems
Frank Stanford, What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford

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