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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

National Book Critics Circle Awards Winners

Recently, the National Book Critics Circle announced the recipients of its book awards for publishing year 2016. 

The winner for fiction was Louise Erdrich for LaRose, a novel about an accidental shooting and its aftermath for two Native American families.

Yaa Gyasi’s novel Homegoing, a novel that spans continents and centuries to wrap its arms around the African-American experience of slavery, was the recipient of the John Leonard Prize, recognizing an outstanding first book in any genre.  (See my review at  

The recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award was Margaret Atwood. 
Named after the first president of the NBCC, the award is given annually to a person or institution---a writer, publisher, critic, or editor, among others---who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture.  In her acceptance speech, Atwood spoke about the important work literary critics do:

“Founded in 1974, the National Book Critics Circle Awards are given annually to honor outstanding writing and to foster a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature. The awards are open to any book published in the United States in English (including translations). The National Book Critics Circle comprises more than 700 critics and editors from leading newspapers, magazines and online publications.”  For a complete list of winners in all categories, go to