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National Book Awards

1970-1979

1970

Winner

An Unfinished Woman : a Memoir by Lillian Hellman


Finalists

  • Alone with America : Essays on the Art of Poetry in the United States Since 1950 by Richard Howard
  • Dr. Bowdler's Legacy : a History of Expurgated Books in England and America by Noel Perrin
  • Voyager : a Life of Hart Crane by John Unterecker
  • Reflections Upon a SInking Ship by Gore Vidal

Winner

A Day of Pleasure : Stories of a Boy Growing Up in Warsaw by Isaac Bashevis Singer


Finalists

  • Where the Lilies Bloom by Bill and Vera Cleaver
  • Pop Corn and Ma Goodness by Edna Mitchell Preston
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  • The Young United States, 1783-1830 by Edwin Tunis



Winner

Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


Finalists

  • Fat City by Leonard Gardner
  • Going Places by Leonard MIchaels
  • The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford

Winner

The Complete Poems by Elizabeth Bishop


Finalists

  • False Gods, Real Men by Daniel Berrigan
  • The Secret Meaning of Things by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  • Notebook, 1967-1968, by Robert Lowell
  • On Bear's Head by Philip Whalen

1971

Winner

The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian by Lloyd Alexander


Finalists

  • Grover by Bill & Vera Cleaver
  • Blowfish Live in the Sea by Paula Fox
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  • The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White


Winner

Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow


Finalists

  • Deliverance by James Dickey
  • The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard
  • Bech : a Book by John Updike
  • Losing Battles by Eudora Welty


Winner

Roosevelt : the Soldier of Freedom by James MacGregor Burns


Finalists

  • Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man by David Donald
  • Against the Evidence : the Becker-Rosenthal Affair by Andy Logan
  • Jefferson the President : First Term, 1801-1805 by Dumas Malone
  • The Last of the Giants by C. L. Sulzberger

Winner

To See, To Take by Mona Van Duyn


Finalists

  • Elegiac Feelings American by Gregory Corso
  • The Carrier of Ladders by W. S. Merwin
  • Iconographs by May Swenson

1972

Winner

The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine or The Hithering Thithering Djinn by Donald Barthelme


Finalists

  • The Art and Industry of Sandcastles by Jan Adkins
  • Wild in the World by John Donovan
  • The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton
  • His Own Where by June Jordan
  • Hildilid's Night by Cheli Duran Ryan & Arnold Lobel
  • The Bear's House by Marilyn Sachs
  • Amos & Boris by William Steig
  • Father Fox's Pennyrhymes by Clyde Watson
The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton

Hildilid's Night by Cheli Duran Ryan & Arnold Lobel

The Bears' House by Marilyn Sachs

Amos & Boris by William Steig

Winner

The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor


Finalists

  • Lion Country by Frederick Buechner
  • The Book of Daniel by E. L. Doctorow
  • The Dick Gibson Show by Stanley Elkin
  • Faragan's Retreat by Tom McHale
  • Wonderland by Joyce Carol Oates
  • The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories by Cynthia Ozick
  • Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy
  • A Garden of Sand by Earl Thompson
  • Rabbit Redux by John Updike
The Book of Daniel by E. L. Doctorow

Winner

The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara by Frank O'Hara


Finalists

  • Briefings by A. R. Ammons
  • Death & Friends by Jon Anderson
  • Spring Shade : Poems, 1931-1970 by Robert Fitzgerald
  • Words in the Mourning Time by Robert Hayden
  • The Night Mirror by John Hollander
  • The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell
  • A Man Holding an Acoustic Panel by David Shapiro
  • The Swimmers and Other Selected Poems by Allen Tate
  • Collected Poems by James Wright

1973

Winner

The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin


Finalists

  • The House of Wings by Betsy Byars
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Children of Vietnam by Betty Jean Lifton
  • The Impossible People by Georgess McHargue
  • The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  • Dominic by William Steig
  • Trolls by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Dominic, by William Steig

Winners

  • Augustus by John Williams

  • Chimera by John Barth


Finalists

  • The Late Great Creature by Brock Brower
  • Hermaphrodeity by Alan Friedman
  • Geronimo Rex by Barry Hannah
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins
  • The Prince by R. M. Koster
  • Transparent Things by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed
  • The Confessions of a Child of the Century by Thomas Rogers
  • Enemies, a Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty

Winner

Collected Poems, 1951-1971 by A. R. Ammons


Finalists

  • Epistle to a Godson and Other Poems by W. H. Auden
  • Delusions, Etc. by John Berryman
  • Fields of Grace by Richard Eberhart
  • Once for the Last Bandit by Samuel Hazo
  • Town & Country Matters by John Hollander
  • Footprints by Denise Levertov
  • The Human Season by Archibald MacLeish
  • Braving the Elements by James Merrill
  • A Book of Change by Frederick Morgan
  • Conjure by Ishmael Reed
  • Adventures of the Letter I by Louis Simpson

1974

Winner

Deeper Into Movies by Pauline Kael


Finalists

  • The Unwritten War by Daniel Aaron
  • Forewords and Afterwords by W. H. Auden
  • Mandelstam by Clarence Brown
  • Golden Codgers by Richard Ellman
  • A Decade of Music by B. H. Haggin
  • Pentimento by Lillian Hellman
  • Walking the Dead Diamond River by Edward Hoagland
  • Elie Nadelman Drawings by Lincoln Kirstein
  • Explaining Music by Leonard B. Mayer
Pentimento by Lilliam Hellman

Winner

The Court of the Stone Children by Eleanor Cameron


Finalists

  • A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich by Alice Childress
  • The Treasure is the Rose by Julia Cunningham
  • Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  • Guests in the Promised Land by Kristin Hunter
  • A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E. L. Konigsburg
  • A Figure of Speech by Norma Fox Mazer
  • Poor Richard in France by F. N. Monjo
  • Duffy and the Devil by Harve and Margot Zemach
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

Duffy and the Devil by Harve Zemach

Winner

A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer


Finalists

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild & Other Stories by Doris Betts
  • The World of Apples by John Cheever
  • Apostles of Light by Ellen Douglas
  • Searches and Seizures by Stanley Elkin
  • Nickel Mountain by John Gardner
  • Black Conceit by John Leonard
  • Ninety-Two in the Shade by Thomas McGuane
  • People Will Always Be Kind by Wilfrid Sheed
  • Burr by Gore Vidal
  • State of Grace by Joy WIlliams
Ninety-Two in the Shade by Thomas McGuane

Burr by Gore Vidal

Winner

Diving into the Wreck : Poems 1971-1972 by Adrienne Rich


Finalists

  • From Snow and Rock, from Chaos by Hayden Carruth
  • Points for a Compass Rose by Evan S. Connell, Jr.
  • Collecting the Animals by Peter Everwine
  • The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir by Richard Hugo
  • Departures by Donald Justice
  • Armed love by Eleanor Lerman
  • From a Land Where Other People Live by Audre Lorde
  • Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems by Alice Walker
  • Hard Freight by Charlse Wright

1975

Winner

The Life of Emily Dickinson by Richard B. Sewall


Finalists

  • Patrick Henry by Richard Beeman
  • Carrying the Fire : an Astronaut's Journey by Michael Collins
  • Edward Weston : His Life by Ben Maddow
  • Charmed Circle : Gertrude Stein & Company by James R. Mellow
  • Your Isadora by Francis Steegmuller
  • The Uneasy Chair : a Biography of Bernard De Voto by Wallace Stegner
  • Bix : Man and Legend by Richard M. Sudhalter and Philip R. Evans
  • Gesualdo : the Man and His Music by Glenn Watkins
  • Friar Thomas D'Aquino by James A. Weisheipl

Winner

M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton


Finalists

  • The Devil's Storybook by Natalie Babbitt
  • Doctor in the Zoo by Bruce Buchenholz
  • I Tell a Lie Every So Often by Bruce Clements
  • My Brother Sam is Dead by Christopher Collier & James Lincoln Collier
  • Joi Bangla : the Children of Bangladesh by Jason Laure & Ettagale Laure
  • Remember the Days : a Short HIstory of the Jewish American by Milton Meltzer
  • World of Our Fathers : the Jews of Eastern Europe by Milton Meltzer
  • Wings by Adrienne Richard
  • The Edge of Next Year by Mary Stoltz
  • The Girl Who Cried Flowers and Other Tales by Jane Yolen
My Brother Sam is Dead by Christopher Collier & James Lincoln Collier

Winner

The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas Williams


Finalists

  • Guilty Pleasures by Donald Barthelme
  • The Odd Woman by Gail Godwin
  • Something Happened by Joseph Heller
  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • Look at the Harlequins by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley
  • My Life as a Man by Philip Roth
  • The Death of the Detective by Mark Smith
Sula by Toni Morrison

Winner

Presentation Piece by Marilyn Hacker


Finalists

  • Sphere : the Form of a Motion by A. R. Ammons
  • After Our War by John Balaban
  • Jan 31 by Albert Goldbarth
  • Two-Part Inventions by Richard Howard
  • The Shade Seller by Josephine Jacobsen
  • Threats Instead of Trees by Michael Ryan
  • Granite Lady by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
  • Sleeping in the Woods by David Wagoner
  • The Mother's Breast & the Father's House by Reed Whittemore

1976

Winner

The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell


Finalists

  • Nijinsky Dancing by Lincoln Kirstein
  • The Holocaust and the Literary Imagination by Lawrence L. Langer
  • Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition by Robert Rosenblum
  • The Female Imagination by Patricia Meyer Spacks
  • Michelangelo's Last Paintings by Leo Steinberg

Winner

Bert Breen's Barn by Walter D. Edmonds


Finalists

  • To the Green Mountains, by Eleanor Cameron
  • As I Was Crossing Boston Common by Norma Faber
  • Of Love and Death and Other Journeys by Isabelle Holland
  • The Star in the Pail by David McCord
  • El Bronx Remembered by Nicolasa Mohr
  • Ludell by Brenda WIlkinson

Winner

JR by William Gaddis


Finalists

  • Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
  • The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher by Hortense Calisher
  • Other People's Lives by Johanna Kaplan
  • Tyrants Destroyed and Other Stories by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Beyond the Bedroom Wall by Larry Woiwode

Winner

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror by John Ashbery


Finalists

  • What Thou Lovest Well, Remains American by Richard Hugo
  • D. C. Images by P. J. Laska
  • The Life Beside This One by John N. Morris
  • Returning Your Call by Leonard Nathan
  • Collected Poems by George Oppen
  • How I Got Ovah by Carolyn M. Rodgers
  • The Peacock Poems by Sherley Anne WIlliams

1977

Winner

The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson


Finalists

  • Never to Forget : the Jews of the Holocaust by Milton Meltzer
  • Ox Under Pressure by John Ney
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  • Tunes for a Small Harmonica by Barbara Wersba
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by MIldred D. Taylor

Winner

The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner


Finalists

  • Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver
  • Orsinian Tales : a Collection of Short Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Balloonist by MacDonald Harris
  • A Fine Romance by Cynthia Propper Seton

Winner

World of Our Fathers : the Journey of the Eastern European Jews to America by Irving Howe


Finalists

  • Democratic Promise : the Populist Movement in America by Lawrence Goodwyn
  • Woman's Body, Woman's Right : Birth Control in America by Linda Gordon
  • Simple Justice : the History of Brown V. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality by Richard Kluger

Winner

Master Tung's Western Chamber Romance by Li-Li Chen


Finalists

  • Aeschylus's The Orestia translated by Robert Fagles
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The Autumn of the Patriarch translated by Gregory Rabassa
  • Dante's The Divine Comedy, Paradiso: Vols, I & II translated by Charles Singleton
  • Antonin Artaud : Selected Writings translated by Helen Weaver

1978

Winner

Samuel Johnson : a Biography by W. Jackson Bate


Finalists

  • Delmore Schwartz : the Life of an American Poet by James Atlas
  • Brother to a Dragonfly by Will D. Campbell
  • A Dual Autobiography by Will & Ariel Durant
  • Black Jack : the Life and Times of John L. Pershing by Frank E. Vandiver

Winner

Blood Tie by Mary Lee Settle


Finalists

  • The Public Burning by Robert Coover
  • Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
  • Union Dues by John  Sayles
  • Madder Music by Peter De Vries

Winner

The Path Between the Seas : the Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914 by David McCullough


Finalists

  • The Empire of Reason by Henry Steele Commager
  • Conflict and Crisis : the Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-1948
  • A Species of Eternity by Joseph Kastner
  • Gold and Iron : Bismarck, Bleichrõder and the Building of the German Empire by Fritz Stern

Winner

The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov by Howard Nemerov


Finalists

  • Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See by Marvin Bell
  • Images of Kin by Michael S. Harper
  • A Private Signal by Barbara Howes
  • Charon's Cosmology by Charles Simic

1979

Winner

Robert Kennedy and His Times by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.


Finalists

  • Remembering Poets by Donald Hall
  • American Caesar : Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964
  • Prodigal Father : the Life of John Butler Yeats by William M. Murphy
  • Woman of Letters : a Life of Virginia Woolf by Phyllis Rose

Winner

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katerine Paterson


Finalists

  • The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha by Lloyd Alexander
  • Queen of Hearts by Vera & Bill Cleaver
  • Humbug Mountain by Sid Fleischman
  • The Little Swineherd and Other Tales by Paula Fox

Winner

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen


Finalists

  • Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man by David Donald
  • Against the Evidence : the Becker-Rosenthal Affair by Andy Logan
  • Jefferson the President : First Term, 1801-1805 by Dumas Malone
  • The Last of the Giants by C. L. Sulzberger

Winner

Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien


Finalists

  • Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man by David Donald
  • Against the Evidence : the Becker-Rosenthal Affair by Andy Logan
  • Jefferson the President : First Term, 1801-1805 by Dumas Malone
  • The Last of the Giants by C. L. Sulzberger