Carmen Maria Machado. Photo by Tom Storm Photography

Minneapolis's Graywolf Press has four books on the finalist lists for the National Book Critics Circle awards--more than any other publisher--and Coffee House Press has one. A Graywolf book, "Her Body and Other Parties" by Carmen Maria Machado, was chosen to win the John Leonard Prize for best first book.

The finalists were chosen by the 24 board members of the National Book Critics Circle on Saturday in New York.

For only the third time in the organization's history, one of the finalists was selected not by the board but by the voting membership; a book must receive a certain percentage of votes in order to make the list. This year it was Roxane Gay's memoir, "Hunger."
Also in the running are Thi Bui's graphic novel memoir about her family's emigration from Vietnam; a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder; and several books shortlisted for the National Book Award.
The winner of the Ivan Sandrof Award for lifetime achievement will go to writer and teacher John McPhee. Previous winners have included Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison and Wendell Barry. And writer and critic Charles Finch received the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.
The rest of the winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m. March 15 at the New School in New York City. A reception and party will follow; tickets are available here.


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

Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Scribner)

Masha Gessen, The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia (Riverhead)

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)


Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books)

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 (W.W. Norton)

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


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

Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (Harper)

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

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, The Girl From the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia (Penguin)   

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


Nuar Alsadir, Fourth Person Singular (Oxford University Press)  

James Longenbach, Earthling (W.W. Norton)

Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf) 

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

Ana Ristović, Directions for Use (Zephyr Press)


Carina Chocano, You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner)

Edwidge Danticat, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (Graywolf)

Camille Dungy, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History  (W.W. Norton) 

Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions (Coffee House)               

Kevin Young, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News (Graywolf)   


Mohsin Hamid, Exit West (Riverhead)

Alice McDermott, The Ninth Hour (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Knopf)

Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)

Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner)


Charles Finch


Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf)


John McPhee

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