National Book Critics Circle Award finalists |

Books | Shelf Life

National Book Critics Circle Award finalists announced

Jeffrey Eugenides

(Ricardo Barros)

The National Book Critics Circle announced the nominees for its 2011 book awards over the weekend, and there were a few surprises. Critical darlings and major 2011 breakouts like Chad Harbach, Téa Obreht, and Karen Russell were not named as finalists in the fiction category. Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, which wasn’t a National Book Award finalist and didn’t make The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2011 list, is now the NBCC’s headline nominee. But the dark horse to win fiction might just be Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta, whose rock-tinged novel calls to mind the very different but similarly hip A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, last year’s NBCC winner who went on to win the Pulitzer.

See below for a full list of nominees:

Teju Cole, Open City
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
Alan Hollinghurst, Stranger’s Child
Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision
Dana Spiotta, Stone Arabia

Amanda Foreman, A World on Fire
James Gleick, The Information
Adam Hochschild, To End All Wars
Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles
John Jeremiah Sullivan, Pulphead

Diana Ackerman, One Hundred Names for Love
Mira Bartok, Memory Palace
Luis Rodriguez, It Calls You Back
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Harlem Is Nowhere
Deb Olin Unferth, Revolution

Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital
John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan
Paul Hendrickson, Hemingway’s Boat
Manning Marable, Malcolm X
Ezra Vogel, Deng Xiaoping

David Bellos, Is That a Fish in Your Ear
Geoff Dyer, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition
Jonathan Lethem, The Ecstasy of Influence
Dubravka Ugresic, Karaoke Culture
Ellen Willis, Out of the Vinyl Deeps

Forrest Gander, Core Samples…
Aracelis Girmay, Kingdom Animalia
Laura Kasischke, Space, In Chains
Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch
Bruce Smith, Devotions