It was a big evening for independent publishers at the National Book Critics Circle Awards this year. Copper Canyon Press, Graywolf Press, and Lookout Books scored wins in poetry, criticism, and fiction, respectively. Edith Pearlman, whose story collection Binocular Vision took home the fiction prize, thanked her publisher, Lookout Books (the press for the University of North Carolina Wilmington), for choosing her as their debut author. “Little presses and little magazines are dedicated to keeping literature alive, and they deserve thanks from every writer; tonight, particularly from me,” said Pearlman.
The winners in the other five categories were: Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff (nonfiction, Knopf); George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis (biography, Penguin Press); The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartok (autobiography, Free Press); Otherwise Known as the Human Condition by Geoff Dyer (criticism, Graywolf Press); Space, in Chains by Laura Kasischke (poetry, Copper Canyon Press).
The biography award was accepted by Gaddis’s stepdaughter and son, who thanked the NBCC for recognizing their father’s “life’s work.”