Short story author Edith Pearlman took the big fiction prize at the National Book Critics Circle awards last night for her book Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories.
The NBCC awards are among the most prestigious literary honors. Last year, Jennifer Egan won the award for A Visit from the Goon Squad before going on to win the Pulitzer.
Book awards, unlike film awards, can be wildly unpredictable and frequently go in favor of the author with the least buzz — in November, the National Book Award for fiction went to Jesmyn Ward for Salvage the Bones, arguably the least known of the nominated titles. (Binocular Vision was also shortlisted for the NBA). I was predicting that the NBCC would go to Teju Cole, a young, New Yorker-anointed author who wrote about a Nigerian immigrant in Open City. But Pearlman’s meticulously crafted sentences dazzled critics when Binocular Vision was released last year with little fanfare from Lookout Books, an imprint of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
See below for a full list of finalists and winners: