Annal: 1986 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

Results of the National Book Critics Circle Award in the year 1986.

Book:Kate Vaiden

Kate Vaiden

Reynolds Price

One of the most feisty, spellbinding and engaging heroines in modern fiction captures the essence of her own life in this contemporary American odyssey born of red-clay land and small-town people. We meet Kate at a crucial moment in middle age when she begins to yearn to see the son she abandoned when she was seventeen. But if she decides to seek him, will he understand her? Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Kate Vaiden is a penetrating psychological portrait of an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances, a story as joyous, tragic, comic and compelling as life itself.

Book:The Beet Queen

The Beet Queen: A Novel

Louise Erdrich

From the award-winning author of Love Medicine comes a tale of abandonment and sexual obsession, jealousy and unstinting love.

On a spring morning in 1932, young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus, North Dakota. Orphaned in a most peculiar way, Karl and Mary look for refuge to their mother’s sister Fritzie, who with her husband, Pete, run a butcher shop. So begins an exhilerating 40-year saga brimming with unforgettable characters: Ordinary Mary, who causes a miracle ; seductive Karl, who lacks Mary’s gift for survival; Sita, their disturbed, ambitious cousin; Wallace Pfef, a town leader bearing a lonely secret; Celestine James, a mixed-blood Chippewa and her daughter, Dot. Theirs is a story grounded in the tenacity of relationships, the magic of natural events and the unending mystery of the human condition.

Book:The Moon Pinnace

The Moon Pinnace

Thomas Williams

Book:Roger's Version

Roger's Version

John Updike

A born-again computer whiz kid bent on proving the existence of God on his computer meets a middle-aged divinity professor, Roger Lambert, who’d just as soon leave faith a mystery. Soon the computer hacker begins an affair with professor Lambert’s wife—and Roger finds himself experiencing deep longings for a trashy teenage girl.

Book:A Summons to Memphis

A Summons to Memphis

Peter Taylor

During the twilight of a Sunday afternoon in March, New York book editor Phillip Carver receives an urgent phone call from each of his older, unmarried sisters. They plead with Phillip to help avert their widower father’s impending remarriage to a younger woman. Hesitant to get embroiled in a family drama, he reluctantly agrees to go back south, only to discover the true motivation behing his sisters’ concern. While there, Phillip is forced to confront his domineering siblings, a controlling patriarch, and flood of memories from this troubled past.

Peter Taylor is one of the masters of Southern literature, whose work stands in the company of Eudora Walty, James Agee, and Walker Percy. In A Summons to Memphis, he composed a richly evocative story of revenge, resolution, and redemption, and gave us a classic work of American literature.

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