National Book Critics noms announced

by Nikki Tranter

14 January 2008


While Katherine Heigl and Nikki Blonksy moan that no Golden Globes party means no excuse for a girly dress-up day, I remain annoyed that we’ve never seen a glitzy, televised event celebrating books and their authors. Who wouldn’t want to see Walter Kirn negotiating the red carpet? Or Susan Faludi gabbing about jewels with Joan Rivers? Alas, the loss the stars suffered on Sunday, forced to stay at home, is something we book lovers are well used to. It was weird, actually, searching the ‘net for Golden Globe winners like a scavenger trying to find out who won the Giller Prize. (It was Elizabeth Hay and she won for Late Nights on Air.)

If book awards need glitz, then the National Book Critics Awards has some to share—I believe winners get a gold sticker on their dust jackets. Nominees were announced this week. Winners will be announced March 6.

Joyce Carol Oates for The Gravedigger’s Daughter
Vikram Chandra for Sacred Games
Junot Diaz for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Hisham Matar for In the Country of Men
Marianne Wiggins for The Shadow Catcher

Philip Gura for American Transcendentalism
Daniel Walker Howe for What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815-1848
Harriet Washington for Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present
Tim Weiner for Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
Alan Weisman for The World Without Us

Tim Jeal for Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer
Hermione Lee for Edith Wharton
Arnold Rampersad for Ralph Ellison
John Richardson for A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
Claire Tomalin for Thomas Hardy

Joshua Clark for Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone
Edwidge Danticat for Brother, I’m Dying
Sara Paretsky for Writing in an Age of Silence
Anna Politkovskaya for Russian Diary: A Journalist’s Final Account of Life, Corruption and Death in Putin’s Russia
Joyce Carol Oates for The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973-1982

Mary Jo Bang for Elegy
Matthea Harvey for Modern Life
Michael O’Brien for Sleeping and Waking
Tom Pickard for The Ballad of Jamie Allan
Tadeusz Rozewicz for New Poems

Joan Acocella for Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints
(Re:Print favourite) Julia Alvarez for Once Upon a Quinceanera
Susan Faludi for The Terror Dream
Ben Ratliff for Coltrane: The Story of a Sound
Alex Ross for The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

Brooke Allen
Ron Charles
Walter Kirn
Adam Kirsch

The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Emilie Buchwald, writer, editor and publisher of Milkweed Editions.

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