Annal: 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

Results of the National Book Critics Circle Award in the year 1991.

Book:A Thousand Acres: A Novel

A Thousand Acres: A Novel

Jane Smiley

A successful Iowa farmer decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. An ambitious reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear cast upon a typical American community in the late twentieth century, A Thousand Acres takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride, and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity.

Book:Gold Bug Variations

Gold Bug Variations

Richard Powers

A magnificent story that probes the meaning of love, science, music, and art, by the brilliant author of Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance.


Mating: A Novel

Norman Rush

Set in the African republic of Botswana—the locale of his acclaimed short story collection, Whites—Norman Rush’s novel simultaneously explores the highest of intellectual high grounds and the most tortuous ravines of the erotic. tackles the geopolitics of poverty and the mystery of what men and women really want.

Book:Typical American

Typical American: A Novel

Gish Jen

This wonderful, bittersweet novel of misadventure and creeping assimilation begins in 1947, when the Shanghai-based Changs send young Ralph halfway around the world to study in New York. He sets off with two goals in mind—to master engineering and to avoid girls at any cost.

Book:Wartime Lies

Wartime Lies

Louis Begley

As the world slips into the throes of war in 1939, young Maciek’s once closetted existence outside Warsaw is no more. When Warsaw falls, Maciek escapes with his aunt Tania. Together they endure the war, running, hiding, changing their names, forging documents to secure their temporary lives—as the insistent drum of the Nazi march moves ever closer to them and to their secret wartime lies.

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