The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) nominated 30 finalists in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—for the 2016 awards.

Carol Anderson, author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, is up for the NBCC Award for criticism. Also among the finalists are Swing Time author Zadie Smith (fiction), Commonwealth author Ann Patchett (fiction), The Iceberg author Marion Coutts (autobiography), and Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War Viet (general nonfiction).

The winners of three additional prizes were announced as well. 
The Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement went to poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist Margaret Atwood. Yaa Gyasi is the recipient of the fourth annual John Leonard Prize for her debut novel, Homegoing. Also, the 2015 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing went to Michelle Dean, whose journalism and criticism appear regularly in The Guardian, The New Republic, and more.

The awards ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will be presented on March 16 at the New School in New York City. The complete list of NBCC Award finalists for the publishing year 2016 is as follows