Minnesota writers Louise Erdrich and Kao Kalia Yang are among the finalists for this year’s National Book Critics Circle Awards, as are University of Minnesota graduates (and Minnesota-reared) Michael Tisserand and Hope Jahren. "Blackacre," published by Minneapolis’ Graywolf Press, is a finalist in poetry.
The finalists were selected on Saturday at a board meeting in New York City and the winners will be announced in mid-March. The board also named Yaa Gyasi’s novel, “Homegoing,” as winner of the John Leonard Prize, which goes to the best first book. Critic Michelle Dean, who writes for the Guardian, the New Republic and elsewhere, won the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, which carries a $1,000 cash award. And Margaret Atwood—novelist, poet, essayist, futurist, and environmental activist—will receive the board’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.
Here is the full list of finalists, with links to Star Tribune reviews, when available:
Jenny Diski, “In Gratitude.”
Michael Tisserand, “Krazy: George Herriman, a life in Black and White.” (review forthcoming this Sunday)
Frances Wilson: “Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey.”
Carol Anderson, “White Rage.”
Mark Greif, “Against Everything.”
Alice Kaplan, “Looking for the Stranger.”
Ibram X. Kendi, “Stamped from the Beginning.”
Jane Mayer, “Dark Money.”
Viet Thanh Nguyen, “Nothing Ever Dies.”
Ishion Hutchinson, “House of Lords and Commons.”
Tyehimba Jess, “Olio.”
Bernadette Mayer, “Works and Days.”
Robert Pinsky,”At the Foundling Hospital.”
Monica Youn, “Blackacre,” (published by Graywolf Press.)
The awards will be announced on March 16 at the New School in New York City. The NBCC is made up of about 1,000 working critics and book review editors across the country.