National Book Critics Circle Award - Fiction by National Book Critics Circle

The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English.

  1. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

    Ragtime is a 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow. This work of historical fiction is mostly set in New York City from about 1900 until the United States entry into World War I in 1917. A unique adaptation...


  2. October Light by John Gardner

    October Light is one of John Gardner's masterworks. The penniless widow of a once-wealthy dentist, Sally Abbot now lives in the Vermont farmhouse of her older brother, 72-year-old James Page. Polar...


  3. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

    It follows the life of Macon "Milkman" Dead III, an African-American male living in Michigan, from birth to adulthood. The main theme in the novel is Milkman's quest for identity as a black man in ...


  4. The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

    The Stories of John Cheever is a 1978 short story collection by American author John Cheever. It contains some of his most famous stories, including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "Th...


  5. The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan

    In 1798, Irish patriots, committed to freeing their country from England, landed with a company of French troops in County Mayo, in westernmost Ireland. They were supposed to be an advance guard, f...


  6. The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

    The Transit of Venus tells the story of two orphan sisters, Caroline and Grace Bell, as they leave Australia to start a new life in post-war England. What happens to these young women — seduction a...


  7. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

    Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a relat...


  8. George Mills by Stanley Elkin

    a 1982 novel by U.S. author Stanley Elkin

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  9. Ironweed by William Kennedy

    Ironweed is set during the Great Depression and tells the story of Francis Phelan, an alcoholic vagrant originally from Albany, New York, who left his family after accidentally killing his infant s...


  10. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

    Love Medicine is Louise Erdrich’s first novel, published in 1984. Each chapter is narrated by a different character. These narratives are very conversational, as if the narrators were telling a st...


  11. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

    The Accidental Tourist is a 1985 novel by Anne Tyler that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Set in Baltimore, Maryland, the plot rev...


  12. Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price

    Kate Vaiden (1986) is a novel by Reynolds Price about a white woman from the American South who, after a teenage pregnancy, abandons her son shortly after giving birth to him and who does not get i...


  13. The Counterlife by Philip Roth

    The Counterlife (1986) is a novel by the American author Philip Roth. It is the fourth full novel to feature the fictional novelist Nathan Zuckerman. However, when The Counterlife was published, Zu...


  14. The Middleman and Other Stories by Bharati Mukherjee

    The Middleman and Other Stories, (1988) is a collection of short stories by Bharati Mukherjee. Stories from this volume are frequently anthologized, particularly Orbiting, A Wife's Story, and The M...


  15. Billy Bathgate by E. L. Doctorow

    Billy Bathgate is a 1989 novel by author E. L. Doctorow that won the 1989 National Book Critics Circle award for fiction for 1990 and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was the runner up for t...


  16. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

    In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi...


  17. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

    Larry Cook is an aging farmer who decides to incorporate his farm, handing complete and joint ownership to his three daughters, Ginny, Rose, and Caroline. When the youngest daughter objects, she is...


  18. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

    All the Pretty Horses is a novel by U.S. author Cormac McCarthy published in 1992. Its romanticism (in contrast to the bleakness of McCarthy's earlier work) brought the writer much public attention...


  19. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

    It is the fictional autobiography about the life of Daisy Goodwill Flett, a seemingly ordinary woman whose life is marked by death and loss from the beginning, when her mother dies during childbirt...


  20. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

    A Lesson Before Dying is Ernest J. Gaines' eighth novel, published in 1993. "A Lesson Before Dying" is a story of two African-American men scrabbling to attain their manhood in a deeply prejudic...


  21. Mrs. Ted Bliss by Stanley Elkin

    Published posthumously in 1995, Mrs. Ted Bliss tells the story of an eighty-two-year-old widow starting life anew after the death of her husband. As Dorothy Bliss learns to cope with the mundane ri...


  22. Women in Their Beds by Gina Berriault

    This remarkable collection received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Rea Award for the Short Story, a gold medal from the Commonwealth Club of Califor...


  23. The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

    In eighteenth-century Germany, the impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis seeks his father's permission to wed his true philosophy — a plain, simple c...


  24. The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro

    The Love of a Good Woman is a collection of short stories by Canadian writer Alice Munro, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1998. The eight stories of this collection (one of which was origin...


  25. Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

    Motherless Brooklyn is a Jonathan Lethem novel published in 1999. It is a detective story set in Brooklyn. The novel won the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and the 2000 Gold Da...


  26. Being Dead by Jim Crace

    Being Dead is a novel by the English writer Jim Crace, published in 1999. Its principal characters are married zoologists Joseph and Celice and their daughter Syl. The story tells of how Joseph an...


  27. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

    Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by "one of the most gripping writers imaginable" (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man?s search for the answer to his life?s ce...


  28. Atonement by Ian McEwan

    Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis's crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob...


  29. The Known World by Edward P. Jones

    The Known World is a 2003 historical novel by Edward P. Jones. It was his first novel and second book. Set in antebellum Virginia, it examines issues regarding the ownership of black slaves by free...


  30. 2666 by Roberto Bolano

    2666 (2004) is the last novel written by Chilean-born novelist Roberto Bolaño. Depicting the unsolved and ongoing serial murders of Ciudad Juárez (Santa Teresa in the novel), the Eastern Front in W...


  31. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

    Gilead is a novel written by Marilynne Robinson and published in 2004. It won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. The novel is the fictional auto...


  32. The March by E. L. Doctorow

    Doctorow's new novel is set towards the end of the American Civil War and follows General Sherman's epic march with sixty thousand Union troops through Georgia and the Carolinas, one of the major m...


  33. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

    Set in the 1980s, the book tells the story of Jemubhai Popatlal Patel, a judge living out a disenchanted retirement in Kalimpong, a hill station in the Himalayan foothills, and his relationship wit...


  34. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) is a best-selling novel written by Dominican-American author Junot Díaz. Although a work of fiction, the novel is set in New Jersey where Díaz was raised...


  35. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

    Wolf Hall (2009) is a Man Booker Prize-winning novel by English author Hilary Mantel, published by Fourth Estate. Set in the 1520s, it is about Thomas Cromwell's rise to power in the Tudor court of...


  36. A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan's spellbinding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an ageing former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Benni...

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  37. Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman

    Tenderly, observantly, incisively, Edith Pearlman captures life on the page like few other writers. She is a master of the short story, and this is a spectacular collection.

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  38. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel by Ben Fountain

    A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal"—three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew—has transformed ...

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