Last night's announcement of the National Book Critics Circle Award nominees included some nice surprises. Vikram Chandra's monumental but sort-of-ignored Sacred Games got a fiction nomination; the poppy but great The World Without Us got a nonfiction nomination; and the pride of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, Matthea Harvey, was nominated for poetry.
But for us the best surprise of all wasn't one of the book nominations; it was the announcement that New York's book critic, Sam Anderson, was the winner of the Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, the most prestigious award for book criticism in the country. Good work, Sam!
Vulture posts by Sam Anderson:
How Critics, Including Me, Screwed Up Our Alice Sebold Reviews
Sam Anderson's ‘Deathly Hallows’ Reading Diary
The 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists [Critical Mass]