At a virtual event on January 31, the National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists, in six categories, for its annual awards honoring the best books of the previous publishing year. In addition, finalists for the John Leonard Prize for Best First Book were announced. Other announcements included the winner of the annual prize for a working book critic, a lifetime achievement award, the Toni Morrison Achievement award for an institution, and the inaugural Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize and NBCC Service Award.The awards for publishing year 2022 will be presented on March 23 at the New School in New York City, in a ceremony that will be free and open to the public.

The announced finalists and winners are as follows:







  • Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear by Most Abu Toha (City Lights)
  • Hotel Oblivion by Cynthia Cruz (Four Way)
  • Hello I Must Be Going by David Hernandez (University of Pittsburgh)
  • banana [ ] by Paul Hlava Ceballos (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Milkweed Smithereens by Bernadette Mayer (New Directions)

Greg Barrios Book in Translation Prize (Inaugural)

  • Boris Dralyuk's translation of Grey Bees by Andrey Kurkov (Deep Vellum)
  • Jennifer Croft's translation of The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk (Riverhead)
  • Fady Joudah's translation of You Can Be the Last Leaf by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat (Milkweed)
  • Mara Fay Lethem's translation of When I Sing, Mountains Dance by Irene Solà (Graywolf)
  • Christina MacSweeney’s translation of Linea Nigra by Jazmina Barrera (Two Lines)
  • Mark Polizzotti’s translation of Kibogo by Scholastique Mukasonga (Archipelago)

John Leonard Prize

Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

  • Jennifer Wilson

Toni Morrison Achievement Award

  • City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

NBCC Service Award

  • Barbara Hoffert

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Joy Harjo

This article has been updated with further information.