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NEW YORK (AP) — Robert Caro, Katherine Boo and the late Anthony Shadid are among the finalists for the National Book Critics Circle prize.
Boo already won the National Book Award for her nonfiction account of a Mumbai community, “Beyond the Beautiful Forevers,” while Caro was a finalist for his latest Lyndon Johnson book, “The Passage of Power,” and Shadid for his memoir “House of Stone.” Zadie Smith’s “NW” and National Book Award contender Ben Fountain’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” were fiction nominees.
Thirty authors in six competitive categories were announced Monday, with stories set everywhere from Texas to London to North Korea. Some of last year’s critical favorites were bypassed, including Junot Diaz’s “This Is How You Lose Her” and David Nasaw’s “The Patriarch.”
Others in the running for fiction include French author Laurent Binet’s “HHhH,” Adam Johnson’s “The Orphan Master’s Son” and Lydia Millet’s “Magnificence.” Boo is a nominee for general nonfiction, along with Andrew Solomon’s bestselling “Far from the Tree,” Steve Coll’s “Private Empire,” Jim Holt’s “Why Does the World Exist?” and David Quammen’s “Spillover.”
In biography the finalists were Caro, Tom Reiss’ “The Black Count,” Lisa Cohen’s “All We Know,” Lisa Jarnot’s “Robert Duncan, the Ambassador from Venus” and Michael Gorra’s “Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece.” The autobiography nominees were Shadid, Reyna Grande’s “The Distance Between Us,” Maureen N. McLane’s “My Poets,” Leanne Shapton’s “Swimming Studies” and Ngugi Wa Thiong’O's “In the House of the Interpreter.”
Paul Elie’s “Reinventing Bach” and Daniel Mendelsohn “Waiting for the Barbarians” were among the finalists in criticism. The other nominees were Mary Ruefle’s “Madness, Rack, and Honey,” Marina Warner’s “Stranger Magic” and Kevin Young’s “The Grey Album.”
In poetry, the finalists were David Ferry’s “Bewilderment,” Lucia Perillo’s “On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths,” Allan Peterson’s “Fragile Acts,” D.A. Powell’s “Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys” and A.E. Stallings’ “Olives.”
No cash prizes will be given to competitive winners, to be announced Feb. 27. But $1,000 will be divided between Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, winners of a lifetime achievement prize for their “groundbreaking work in feminist criticism.” William Deresiewicz, who writes for The Nation and The New Republic among others, will receive an honorary award for “excellence in reviewing.”