Bartok Wins NBCC Award for “Memory Palace”

The National Book Critics Circle announced the the winners of the 2011 NBCC Awards tonight (March 8).

The winner for autobiography was Mira Bartok for "The Memory Palace," a memoir and exploration of the nature of memory, based around Bartok's life with a schizophrenic mother  and her memory loss following a serious accident.

The winner for biography was John Gaddis for "George F. Kennan: An American Life," the story of the U.S. statesman and diplomat known as the "father of containment" for his work on U.S.-Soviet policy.

2011 National Book Critics Circle Awards

  • Kathryn Schulz was presented the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing
  • Robert Silvers of the New York Review of Books was presented the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award


  • "The Memory Palace" by Mira Bartok
  • "Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America" by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts
  • "It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love" by Luis J. Rodriguez
  • "One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke" by Diane Ackerman
  • "Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War" by Deb Olin Unferth


  • "George F. Kennan: An American Life" by John Lewis Gaddis
  • "Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China" by Ezra F. Vogel
  • "Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life" by Paul Hendrickson
  • "Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of the Revolution" by Mary Gabriel
  • "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" by Manning Marable


  • "Binocular Vision" by Edith Pearlman
  • "Open City" by Teju Cole
  • "Stone Arabia" by Dana Spiotta
  • "The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • "The Stranger’s Child" by Alan Hollinghurst


  • "Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary War" by Maya Jasanoff
  • "A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War" by Amanda Foreman
  • "Pulphead: Essays" by John Jeremiah Sullivan
  • "The Information" by James Gleick
  • "To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion" by Adam Hochschild


  • "Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews" by Geoff Dyer
  • "Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything" by David Bellos
  • "Karaoke Culture" by Dubravka Ugresic
  • "Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music" by Ellen Willis
  • "The Ecstasy of Influence" by Jonathan Lethem


  • "Space, In Chains" by Laura Kasischke
  • "Core Samples from the World" by Forrest Gander
  • "Devotions" by Bruce Smith
  • "Kingdom Animalia" by Aracelis Girmay
  • "The Chameleon Couch" by Yusef Komunyakaa