Congratulations to the NBCC Finalists!


The National Book Critics Circle awards are given each March and honor the best literature published in the US in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Winners will be announced at the NBCC Awards Ceremony and Reception in New York City on March 15.

We congratulate all of the finalists, and are especially pleased to have celebrated and featured the work of many of these writers on our site. Below is a complete list of finalists, with links to their books and to relevant interviews, reviews, writing, and excerpts of work that has appeared on The Rumpus. Happy reading!



Thi Bui, The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir (Abrams)

Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (Harper)
Find all of Roxane Gay’s writing for The Rumpus here, our review of Hunger here , and Rumpus Books Editor Abigail Bereola in conversation with Gay in this 2017 interview.

Henry Marsh, Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery (St. Martins)

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, The Girl From the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia (Penguin)
Read our review of Petrushevskaya’s 2009 story collection, There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories.

Xioulu Guo, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China (Grove)



Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Henry Holt)

Edmund Gordon, The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography (Oxford)

Howard Markel, The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek (Pantheon)

William Taubman, Gorbachev: His Life and Times (Norton)

Kenneth Whyte, Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times (Knopf)



Carina Chocano, You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner)
Carina Chocano is a contributor to Kate Harding and Samhita Mukhopadhyay’s wonderful anthology, Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America. Read a list of works by nasty women, including Chocano, here.

Edwidge Danticat, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (Graywolf)
Read Kima Jones in conversation with Edwidge Danticat in this 2014 interview.

Camille Dungy, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History (W.W. Norton)
Read our review of Guidebook to Relative Strangers here, and Raj Chakrapani in conversation with Dungy in this 2017 interview.

Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions (Coffee House)
Read our review of Tell Me How It Ends here, and Nicole Guappone in conversation with Luiselli in this 2015 interview.

Kevin Young, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News (Graywolf)
Read Ryan Krull in conversation with Kevin Young in this January 2018 interview.



Mohsin Hamid, Exit West (Riverhead)
Read Tochi Onyebuchi in conversation with Mohsin Hamid in this 2017 interview.

Alice McDermott, The Ninth Hour (FSG)
Read our review of Alice McDermott’s 2014 novel, Someone.

Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Knopf)

Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)

Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner)
Don’t miss our review of Sing, Unburied, Sing and Kima Jones in conversation with Ward in this 2013 interview.



Jack Davis, Gulf: The Making of An American Sea (Liveright/Norton)

Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster)

Masha Gessen, The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia (Riverhead)
Read our review of Gessen’s 2014 book, Words Will Break Cement, and our review of her 2015 bookThe Brothers.

Kapka Kassabova, Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe (Graywolf)

Adam Rutherford, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes (The Experiment)



Nuar Alsadir, Fourth Person Singular (Oxford University Press)

James Longenbach, Earthling (Norton)
Read our review of Longenbach’s 2010 collection, The Iron Key.

Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf)
Read Diane Glancy’s poem-review of Whereas and Joan Naviyuk Kane’s Black Milk Carbon.

Frank Ormsby, The Darkness of Snow (Wake Forest University Press)

Ana Ristović, Directions for Use (Zephyr Press)