One-Minute Book Reviews

March 7, 2008

Junot Díaz Wins NBCC Fiction Award – Danticat Gets Autobiography Prize – Other Winners Are Ross, Bang, Jeal and Washington

Filed under: Book Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 1:38 am
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Junot Díaz has won the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction for his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead). Other books that won prizes in the March 6 ceremony in Manhattan are: General nonfiction, Harriet Washington’s Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present (Doubleday); Biography, Tim Jeal’s Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (Yale University Press); Autobiography, Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying (Knopf); Poetry, Mary Jo Bang’s Elegy (Graywolf); and Criticism, Alex Ross’s The Rest Is Noise (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).The NBCC awards are one of the top three literary honors in the U.S. along with the National Book Awards and the Pulitzer Prizes. They are given annually by the 800-member association of American book critics.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. I’ve heard Junot Diaz’ book mentioned as a Pulitzer possibility, but I’m not sure he/it is eligible.

    Comment by speedytexaslibrarian — March 7, 2008 @ 10:14 am | Reply

  2. Winning a major prize usually means that at least judges for other awards won’t overlook the book (that is, that the book won’t get buried or lost in the applications shuffle), because the publicity make the judges aware of it. So if “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” has a shot at a Pulitzer, the NBCC award can’t hurt.

    The eligibility guidelines for the Pulitzer prizes are posted at They’re coming out in April. I hope to have reviewed “Oscar Wao” by then …

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — March 7, 2008 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  3. Just looked up the Pulitzer rules for books, which say: “Entrants in all categories except History must be U.S. citizens.” JD has lived in the U.S. since childhood, so you would think he became one years ago.

    Books can also be ineligible because of their publication dates, because the “year” for some awards isn’t the calendar year. (The National Book Awards are given out in November, so the judges can’t consider books published after a certain date in the award year.) But “Oscar Wao” had an official publicate of September, so it should have cleared that hurdle for the Pulitzers.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — March 7, 2008 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

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