The National Book Critics Circle on Monday announced its selections of the most distinguished books published in 1988 in five categories. The awards will be presented on Jan. 26 at ceremonies at New York University.
Taylor Branch will receive the award in general nonfiction for his book on the civil rights movement, "Parting the Waters: America in the King Years" (Simon & Shuster). The honoree in fiction is Bharati Mukherjee for "The Middleman" (Grove), collection of stories about immigrants to America.
In the biography/autobiography category, the winning book is the late Richard Ellmann's "Oscar Wilde" (Alfred A. Knopf). Donald Hall is the winner in the poetry category for "The One Day" (Ticknor & Fields) and in criticism the honoree is Clifford Geertz for "Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author" (Stanford).
The National Book Critics Circle, an organization of 485 professional book critics and book review editors, will also present its citation for excellence in reviewing to William Logan of Gainesville, Fla. whose work appears in a number of publications.
Also, the American Library Assn. announced the winners of its Newbery and Caldecott medals at its midwinter meeting in Washington. Awarded annually by a committee of the Assn. for Library Service to Children, the Randolph Caldecott Medal honors the year's most distinguished American picture book for children. The John Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of the year's most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Paul Fleischman of Pacific Grove, Calif., received the Newbery Medal for "Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices," a celebration of the insect world in poems to be read aloud (A Charlotte Zolotow Book/Harper & Row).
Winner of the Caldecott Medal for illustration is Stephen Gammell of St. Paul, Minn. for his colored pencil drawings for "Song and Dance Man," a story about a grandfather reminiscing about his days in vaudeville written by Karen Ackerman (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House).