The Finalists for the 2015 NBCC Awards

The National Book Critics Circle's List of the Best Books of 2015

Kirstin Valdez Quade, the 2015 recipient of the John Leonard Prize for a debut book. Photographed by Maggie Shipstead.

Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World (Grand Central Publishing); Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); George Hodgman, Bettyville (Viking); Margo Jefferson, Negroland (Pantheon); and Helen Macdonald, H Is for Hawk (Grove Press)


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



Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau); Leo Damrosch, Eternity's Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William Blake (Yale Univ.); Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts (Graywolf); Colm Tóibín, On Elizabeth Bishop (Princeton Univ.); and James Wood, The Nearest Thing to Life (Brandeis Univ.)


Paul Beatty, The Sellout (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies (Riverhead); Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth (Coffee House Press); Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno (Hogarth); and Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen (Penguin Press)


Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Rome (Liveright); Ari Berman, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Jill Leovy, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America (Spiegel & Grau); Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury); and Brian Seibert, What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


Ross Gay, Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude (Univ. of Pittsburgh); Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn (Penguin); Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions); Sinéad Morrissey, Parallax and Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); and Frank Stanford, What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford (Copper Canyon Press)


Kirstin Valdez Quade, Night at the Fiestas (Norton)Quade jacket


Carlos Lozada

Finalists for Balakian:

Ruth Franklin

James Parker

Leo Robson

Roxana Robinson


Wendell Berry


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