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National Book Awards

1990-1999

1990

Winner

Middle Passage by Charles Johnson


Finalists

  • Chromos by Felipe Alfau
  • Paradise by Elena Castedo
  • Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn
  • Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart by Joyce Carol Oates
Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart

Winner

The House of Morgan : an American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow


Finalists

  • Small Victories : the Real World of a Teacher, Her Students and Their High School by Samuel G. Freedman
  • Richard Milhous Nixon : the Rise of an American Politician by Roger Morris
  • Jackson Pollock : an American Saga by Steven Naifeh
  • Righteous Pilgrim : the Life and Times of Harold L. Ickes, 1847-1952
Richard Milhous Nixon : the Rise of an American Politician

Jackson Pollock : an American Saga

1991

Winner

Mating : a Novel by Norman Rush


Finalists

  • Wartime Lies by Louis Begley
  • Frog by Stephen Dixon
  • The MacGuffin by Stanley Elkin
  • Beyond Deserving by Sandra Scofield
The MacGuffin

Winner

Freedom, Volume 1: Freedom in the Making of Western Culture by Orlando Patterson


Finalists

  • Why Americans Hate Politics by E. J. Dionne, Jr.
  • Praying for Sheetrock by Melissa Fay Greene
  • The Jameses : a Family Narrative by R. W. B. Lewis
  • Anne Sexton : a Biography by Diane Wood Middlebrook
Anne Sexton : a Biography

Winner

What Work Is by Philip Levine


Finalists

  • The Never-Ending by Andrew Hudgins
  • Eva-Mary by Linda McCarriston
  • An Atlas of the Difficult World by Adrienne Rich
  • The Homeplace by Marilyn Nelson Waniek

1992

Winner

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy


Finalists

  • Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
  • Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
  • Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones
  • Outerbridge Reach by Robert Stone
Bastard Out of Carolina

Dreaming in Cuban

Outerbridge Reach

Winner

Becoming a Man : Half a Life Story by Paul Monette


Finalists

  • The Promise of the New South : Lie After Reconstruction by Edward L. Ayers
  • Genius : the Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick
  • Truman by David McCullough
  • Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills
Genius : the Life and Science of Richard Feynman

Truman

Lincoln at Gettysburg

Winner

New and Selected Poems, Volume One by Mary Oliver


Finalists

  • Collected Shorter Poems by Hayden Carruth
  • The Wild Iris by Louise Glück
  • Rapture by Susan Mitchell
  • No Nature by Gary Snyder
The Wild Iris

1993

Winner

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx


Finalists

  • Come to Me by Amy Bloom
  • The Pugilist at Rest by Thom Jones
  • Operation Wandering Soul by Richard Powers
  • Swimming the Volcano by Bob Shacochis

Winner

United States Essays 1952-1992 by Gore Vidal


Finalists

  • Land of Desire : Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture by WIlliam Leach
  • W. E. B. Du Bois : Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 by David Levering Lewis
  • Gunfighter Nation : the Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America by Richard Slotkins
  • Battlefield : Farming a Civil War Battleground by Peter Svenson

Winner

Garbage by A. R. Ammons


Finalists

  • My Alexandria by Mark Doty
  • The Vigil : a Poem in Four Voices by Margaret Gibson
  • The Museum of Clear Ideas by Donald Hall
  • What We Don't Know About Each Other by Lawrence Raab

1994

Winner

A Frolic of His Own : a Novel by William Gaddis


Finalists

  • Moses Supposes by Ellen Currie
  • White Man's Grave by Richard Dooling
  • The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
  • The Collected Stories by Grace Paley
The Collected Stories

Winner

How We Die : Reflections on Life's Final Chapter by Sherwin B. Nuland


Finalists

  • The Unredeemed Captive : a Family Story from Early America by John Demos
  • Strange Justice : the Selling of Clarence Thomas by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson
  • Fatheralong : a Meditation on Fathers, Sons, Race and Society by John Edgar Wideman
  • In Pharaoh's Army : Memories of the Lost War by Tobias Wolff
Strange Justice : the Selling of Clarence Thomas

Winner

Worshipful Company of Fletchers by James Tate


Finalists

  • Like Most Revelations by Richard Howard
  • A Study for the World's Body by David St. John
  • Hinge and Sign : Poems, 1968-1993 by Heather McHugh
  • An Altogether Different Language by Anne Porter

1995

Winner

Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth


Finalists

  • All Souls' Rising by Madison Smart Bell
  • Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
  • Interstate by Stephen Dixon
  • The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferré
Interstate

Winner

The Haunted Land : Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism by Tina Rosenberg


Finalists

  • Salvation on Sand Mountain : Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia by Dennis Covington
  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea : Evolution and the Meaning of Life by Daniel C. Dennett
  • A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr
  • Ghosts of Mississippi by Maryanne Vollers
Darwin's Dangerous Idea : Evolution and the Meanings of Life

Winner

Passing Through : the Later Poems New and Selected by Stanley Kunitz


Finalists

  • Collected Poems, 1945-1990 by Barbara Howes
  • In the Crevice of Time : New and Collected Poems by Josephine Jacobsen
  • New and Selected Poems by Donald Justice
  • New and Selected Poems by Gary Soto

1996

Winner

Ship Fever and Other Stories by Andrea Barrett


Finalists

  • Atticus by Ron Hansen
  • The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken
  • Martin Dressler : the Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser
  • The River Beyond the World by Janet Peery
Atticus

The Giant's House

Martin Dressler : the Tale of an American Dreamer

Winner

An American Requiem : God, My Father, and the War that Came Between Us by James Carroll


Finalists
  • The Temple Bombing by Melissa Fay Greene
  • The Living and the Dead by Paul Hendrickson
  • The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller : Worlds to Conquer, 1908-1958 by Cary Reich
  • Fruitful : a Real Mother in the Modern World by Anne Roiphe

Winner

Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey by Hayden Carruth


Finalists

  • The Terrible Stories by Lucille Clifton
  • Sun Under Wood by Robert Hass
  • The Crack in Everything by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
  • Walking the Black Cat by Charles Simic

Winner

Parrot in the Oven : Mi Vida : a Novel by Victor Martinez


Finalists

  • What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Corman
  • A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer
  • The Long Season of Rain by Helen Kim
  • Send Me Down a Miracle by Han Nolan
What Jamie Saw

A Girl Named Disaster

1997

Winner

Cold Mountain : a Novel by Charles Frazier


Finalists

  • Underworld by Don DeLillo
  • Le Divorce by Diane Johnson
  • Echo House by Ward Just
  • The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick
Underworld

Winner

American Sphinx : the Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis


Finalists

  • The Kidnapping of Edgardo Martara by David I. Kertzer
  • My Brother by Jamaica Kincaid
  • The Undertaking : Life Studies from the Dismal Trade by Thomas Lynch
  • Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus

Winner

Effort and Speech : New and Selected Poems by William Meredith


Finalists

  • Locusts at the Edge of Summer : New and Selected Poems by John Balaban
  • Desire by Frank Bidart
  • Primate Behavior by Sarah Lindsay
  • The Fields of Praise : New and Selected Poems by Marilyn Nelson

Winner

Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan


Finalists

  • The Facts Speak for Themselves by Brock Cole
  • Sons of Liberty by Adele Griffin
  • Where You Belong by Mary Ann McGuigan
  • Mean Margaret by Tor Seidler
Mean Margaret

1998

Winner

Charming Billy by Alice McDermott


Finalists

  • Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman
  • The Healing by Gayl Jones
  • Damascus Gate by Robert Stone
  • A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
Damascus Gate

A Man in Full

Winner

Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball


Finalists

  • Shakespeare : the Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom
  • There Once Was a World : a 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetle of Eishyshok by Yaffa Eliach
  • A Slant of Sun : One Child's Courage by Beth Kephart
  • All on Fire : William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery by Henry Mayer
Shakespeare : the Invention of the Human

Winner

This Time : New and Selected Poems by Gerald Stern


Finalists

  • The Art of the Lathe by B. H. Fairchild
  • The Little Space : Poems Selected and New, 1968-1998 by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
  • Carnival Evening by Linda Pastan
  • From the Devotions by Carl Phillips

Winner

Holes by Louis Sachar


Finalists

  • The Secret Life of Amanda Woods by Ann Cameron
  • Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
  • No Pretty Pictures : a Child of War by Anita Lobel
  • A Long Way from Chicago : a Novel in Stories by Richard Peck
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

A Long Way from Chicago : a Novel in Stories

1999

Winner

Waiting by Ha Jin


Finalists

  • Plainsong by Kent Haruf
  • Hummingbird House by Patricia Henley
  • House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
  • Who Do You Love by Jean Thompson
Plainsong

House of Sand and Fog

Winner

Embracing Defeat : Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower


Finalists

  • Woman : an Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
  • Black Hawk Down : a Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden
  • Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation by John Phillip Santos
  • Secrets of the Flesh : a Life of Colette by Judith Thurman

Winner

Vice : New and Selected Poems by Ai


Finalists

  • Vita Nova by Louise Glück
  • Configurations : New and Selected Poems, 1958-1998
  • The Pilot Star Elegies by Sherod Santos
  • Repair by C. K. Williams
Repair

Winner

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt


Finalists

  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
  • The Trolls by Polly Horvath
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Speak

The Birchbark House

The Trolls

Monster