Louise Erdrich. Photo by Paul Emmel.

Minnesota writers Louise Erdrich  and Kao Kalia Yang are among the finalists for this year’s National Book Critics Circle Awards, as are Minnesota-reared writers Alice Kaplan, 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.

Kao Kalia Yang's memoir, "The Song Poet," was about the life of her father, Bee Yang. Star Tribune photo by Brian Peterson

Here is the full list of finalists, with links to Star Tribune reviews, when available:

Autobiography

Marion Coutts, “The Iceberg.”

Jenny Diski, “In Gratitude.”

Hope Jahren, “Lab Girl.”

Hisham Matar, “The Return.”

Kao Kalia Yang, “The Song Poet.”

Biography

Nigel Cliff, “Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story.”

Ruth Franklin, “Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.”

Joe Jackson: “Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary.”

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.”

Criticism

Carol Anderson, “White Rage.”

Mark Greif, “Against Everything.”

Alice Kaplan, “Looking for the Stranger.”

Olivia Laing, “The Lonely City.”

Peter Orner, “Am I Alone Here?”

Fiction

Michael Chabon, “Moonglow.”

Louise Erdrich, “LaRose.”

Adam Haslett, “Imagine Me Gone.”

Ann Patchett, “Commonwealth.”

Zadie Smith, “Swing Time.”

General nonfiction

Matthew Desmond, “Evicted.”

Ibram X. Kendi, “Stamped from the Beginning.”

Jane Mayer, “Dark Money.”

Viet Thanh Nguyen, “Nothing Ever Dies.”

John Edgar Wideman, “Writing to Save a Life.”

Poetry

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.

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