The National Book Critics Circle has named the 30 finalists for its best books honors of 2013. The six categories are autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. And, winning the first John Leonard prize this year, awarded to a debut work of note in any genre, is Anthony Marra for his novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth). The winners will be announced in a ceremony on Thursday, March 13, at 6:00 p.m., EST, at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium. The nominees are:

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)

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)

Additionally, the 2013 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing is being awarded to Katherine A. Powers, who contributes criticism to a number of outlets including The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. And, receiving the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award is 84-year-old Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, a novelist (Klail City), essayist and translator.