Annal: 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

Results of the National Book Critics Circle Award in the year 1984.

Book:Love Medicine

Love Medicine

Louise Erdrich

The first book in Louise Erdrich’s Native American series, which also includes The Beet Queen, Tracks, and The Bingo Palace, Love Medicine tells the story of two families—the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. Now resequenced by the author with the addition of never-before-published chapters, this is a publishing event equivalent to the presentation of a new and definitive text. Written in Erdrich’s uniquely poetic, powerful style, Love Medicine springs to raging life: a multigenerational portrait of new truths and secrets whose time has come, of strong men and women caught in an unforgettable drama of anger, desire, and the healing power that is Love Medicine. Discover the writer whom Philp Roth called “the most interesting new American novelist to have appeared in years” all over again.

Book:Family Dancing

Family Dancing: Stories

David Leavitt

Tender, unsettling, and amusing, these stories present families all unhappy in their own different ways. A mother who presides over her local Parents of Lesbians and Gays chapter has trouble accepting her son’s lover. A recently separated couple’s compulsion to maintain a twenty-six-year tradition seems to magnify futility. The New York Times called this collection “astonishing—funny, eloquent, and wise.”

Book:Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs

Alison Lurie

Alison Lurie’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is both a splendid comedy and poignant love story about two American academics in London. Virginia Miner, an unmarried tenured professor, is an Anglophile on leave to research a book. Fred Turner, a teacher at the same university, is recently separated, flat broke and miserable in this city where the rain never seems to end. The separate paths of these two lonely and naive innocents abroad lead them to strikingly similar destinations of newfound passion…and unexpected love.

By turns hilarious and intensely moving, Foreign Affairs is a dazzling accomplishment—timely, captivating and unforgettable.

Book:Machine Dreams

Machine Dreams

Jayne Anne Phillips

Death, birth, coming-of-age, marriage, and partings are spun into a wondrous reminiscence of the fateful, bittersweet passage of everyday lives in extraordinary times.

Book:Stones for Ibarra

Stones for Ibarra

Harriet Doerr

Richard and Sara Everton mortgage, sell and borrow, leave friends and country to settle in the Mexican village of Ibarra. They intend to spend the rest of their lives here, in a place neither of them has seen, to speak a language neither of them know. Their dream is to reopen Richard’s grandfather’s abandoned copper mine.

In a few short months work is advancing in the mine and their home is ready—then Richard learns he has six years to live.

Richard’s determination to make the mine and village prosper matches Sara’s effort to deny the diagnosis. While Richard measures time, she rejects its passage.

This novel, Harriet Doerr’s first, was written when she was in her seventies.

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