January 13th, 2014 / 9:44 pm

Summary of the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013

In case you missed it, the NBCC announced their newest awards finalists. According to their selections, the only publishers publishing award-worthy material are FSG and Knopf, plus a meager handful of others that are not FSG or Knopf. Obviously the NBCC committee has never seen this list. The number of presses that aren’t FSG or Knopf would blow their minds!



(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)



(Simon & Schuster)



(Yale University Press)


(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Cornell University Press)




(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)




(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)



(Little, Brown)




(Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)



(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)


(University of Pittsburgh Press)

(Copper Canyon)

(University of Arizona Press)


  1. Erik Stinson


  2. jeremy

      I know being a staff writer for the New Yorker puts him among the most tediously institutionalized of writers, but George Packer’s “The Unwinding” absolutely deserves to win for non-fiction regardless of what giant conglomerate published it.

  3. Chad Morgan

      I really liked ‘White Girls.’ It was kinda messy but I liked it.

  4. Brooks Sterritt


  5. Don

      FSG publishes better books than other publishers, so they deserve more nominations. There’s nothing controversial or bad about that.

  6. deadgod

      It’s not a question of whether this gatekeeper lets in mostly high-quality material; FSG is plenty reliable on this criterion. The question is whether, due to volume and to competing tastes, FSG’s gatekeeping is a reliable index of the quality of everything that’s not let in at this gate. It’s a reasonable skepticism.

  7. Don

      Higgs post is just a variation on the ad hominem fallacy, but it’s even weaker than ad hominem. He’s attacking books based on their publisher.

      Publishing isn’t fair. FSG wins every year because they’re better. Fine by me.

  8. deadgod

      Ad hominem? Higgs doesn’t say anything about the quality of books nominated; he isn’t even attacking FSG/Knopf. Higgs attacks some NBCC nominating committee, because, indeed, publishing isn’t fair. It’s a rich-get-richer circularity argument: great books by lesser- or un-reputed publishers don’t even get read–and so not log-rolled–by relevant committees on the literary-prize circuit. Don’t you think that’s legitimately a boulder of salt seasoning the, what, glamor attached to the brilliant books that do get nominated and win big literary prizes?

  9. Don

      I don’t think it’s true that lots of great books get published and never get attention.

  10. Dept. of Speculation | HTMLGIANT

      […] AM all atwitter thinking about it, but for as excited as I am about the alt lit scene, the recent National Book Critics Awards finalists make it clear that the lit world at large lacks the same scope and […]

  11. Dept. of Speculation | GIANT READER

      […] AM all atwitter thinking about it, but for as excited as I am about the alt lit scene, the recent National Book Critics Awards finalists make it clear that the lit world at large lacks the same scope and […]