The National Book Critics Circle has announced the 30 finalists for its 2017 literary awards, as well as the recipients of three additional prizes. The NBCC winners will be named in six categories––autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry––at a ceremony at the New School in New York on March 15.

For the other prizes, John McPhee has been unveiled as the recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors a lifetime contribution to letters and book culture. The NBCC said McPhee was being honored for "his pioneering work in the fields of new journalism and creative nonfiction; his explorations of widely varying topics, including science, sports, and the environment; and his mentorship of countless young writers and journalists."

Carmen Maria Machado’s debut story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, is the recipient of the fourth annual John Leonard Prize, established to recognize outstanding first books in any genre (and named in honor of founding NBCC member John Leonard.)

Charles Finch is the recipient of the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

The 30 finalists in six categories for the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Awards are:





  • Nuar Alsadir, Fourth Person Singular (Oxford University Press)
  • James Longenbach, Earthling (Norton)
  • Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf)
  • Frank Ormsby, The Darkness of Snow (Wake Forest University Press)
  • Ana Ristović, Directions for Use (Zephyr Press)



Corrections: This piece was updated with the correct publishers and subtitles for certain books.