Nat’l Book Critics Circle Announces Winners for 2012

The winners of the National Book Critics Circle book awards for the publishing year 2012 were announced on Thursday, February 28, 2013.  The award recipients in each category:

Poetry
D. A. Powell, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys

useless landscape“In D. A. Powell’s fifth book of poetry, the rollicking line he has made his signature becomes the taut, more discursive means to describing beauty, singing a dirge, directing an ironic smile, or questioning who in any given setting is the instructor and who is the pupil.”

Criticism
Marina Warner, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights

stranger magic“…explores the magical realm of the imagination where carpets fly and genies grant prophetic wishes. Stranger Magic examines the profound impact of the Arabian Nights on the West, the progressive exoticization of magic, and the growing acceptance of myth and magic in contemporary experience.”

Autobiography
Leanne Shapton,  Swimming Studies

swimming studies“A collection of autobiographical sketches that explore the worlds of competitive and recreation swimming. From her training for the Olympic trials as a teenager, to meditative swims in pools and oceans as an adult, Shapton contemplates the sport that has shaped her life.”

Biography
Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

passage of power“Examines Lyndon Johnson’s volatile relationships with John and Robert Kennedy, describes JFK’s assassination from Johnson’s viewpoint, and recounts his accomplishments as president before they were overshadowed by the Vietnam War.”

Nonfiction
Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

far from the tree“Explores the consequences of extreme personal differences between parents and children, describing his own experiences as a gay child of straight parents while evaluating the circumstances of people affected by physical, developmental, or cultural factors that divide families.”

Fiction
Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk“Asked to be part of the Dallas Cowboys’ halftime show on Thanksgiving, Specialist Billy Lynn, one of the eight surviving men of the Bravo Squad, finds his life forever changed by this event that causes him to better understand difficult truths about himself.”

(All book descriptions are from the respective publishers.)

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

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