Minneapolis' Graywolf Press has four books on the finalist lists for the National Book Critics Circle awards — more than any other publisher — and Minneapolis' Coffee House Press has one. And a fifth Graywolf book, "Her Body and Other Parties" by Carmen Maria Machado, was chosen to win the John Leonard Prize for best first book.
The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award will go to writer and teacher John McPhee, and critic Charles Finch will receive the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.
The other winners will be announced March 15 in New York City. The finalists were chosen Saturday by the 24 board members of the NBCC, a nonprofit, national organization of book critics.
Here are the finalists:
Jack Davis, "Gulf: The Making of An American Sea" (Liveright); Frances FitzGerald, "The Evangelicals" (Simon & Schuster); Masha Gessen, "The Future is History" (Riverhead); Kapka Kassabova, "Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe" (Graywolf); Adam Rutherford, "A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived" (The Experiment).
Caroline Fraser, "Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder" (Metropolitan); Edmund Gordon, "The Invention of Angela Carter" (Oxford); Howard Markel, "The Kelloggs" (Pantheon); William Taubman, "Gorbachev"(W.W. Norton); Kenneth Whyte, "Hoover" (Knopf).
Thi Bui, "The Best We Could Do" (Abrams); Roxane Gay, "Hunger" (Harper); Henry Marsh, "Admissions" (St. Martins); Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, "The Girl From the Metropol Hotel" (Penguin); Xiaolu Guo, "Nine Continents" (Grove).
Nuar Alsadir, "Fourth Person Singular" (Oxford); James Longenbach, "Earthling" (W.W. Norton); Layli Long Soldier, "Whereas" (Graywolf); Frank Ormsby, "The Darkness of Snow" (Wake Forest University Press); Ana Ristovic, "Directions for Use" (Zephyr Press).
Carina Chocano, "You Play the Girl" (Mariner); Edwidge Danticat, "The Art of Death" (Graywolf); Camille Dungy, "Guidebook to Relative Strangers" (W.W. Norton); Valeria Luiselli, "Tell Me How It Ends" (Coffee House); Kevin Young, "Bunk" (Graywolf).
Mohsin Hamid, "Exit West" (Riverhead); Alice McDermott, "The Ninth Hour" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Arundhati Roy, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness" (Knopf); Joan Silber, "Improvement" (Counterpoint); Jesmyn Ward, "Sing, Unburied, Sing." (Scribner).
Laurie Hertzel • 612-673-7302