Announcing the Finalists for the John Leonard Prize 2017

The National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors has announced the finalists for the 2017 John Leonard Prize for literature.

This award recognizes outstanding debut books in any genre.

This year’s finalists includes Nneka Lesley Arimah’s What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky (Riverhead), Marlena by Julie Buntin (Holt), What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons (Viking), Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (Graywolf), Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf) and My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent (Riverhead).

Nominations for the Leonard prize, for a first book in any genre, are open to any regular voting NBCC member; the six finalists are those titles with the most nominations. A panel of member-volunteers will read the finalists and select the winner, to be announced in January.

The John Leonard Award is named after John Leonard, one of the most energetic and significant critical voices in American literature. In December last year, Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing was nominated alongside Brit Bennett’s The Mothers, Emma Cline’s The Girls, Nicole Dennis-Benn’s Here Comes the Sun, Nathan Hill’s The Nix, and Max Porter’s Grief Is the Thing with Feathers and she emerged winner of the prize.

The John Leonard Prize will be presented at the NBCC Awards Ceremony at The New School in New York on March 15, 2018.

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