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Poet Laureate Dove Up for Award

January 24, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ A former U.S. poet laureate, the latest winner of Britain’s Booker Prize and Argentina’s most famous writer were nominated Monday for this year’s National Book Critics Circle awards.

Rita Dove, poet laureate from 1993 to 1995, was named a poetry finalist for her collection ``On the Bus With Rosa Parks.″ South African author J.M. Coetzee, who recently won the Booker Prize for his post-apartheid novel ``Disgrace,″ was nominated for fiction.

The late Jorge Luis Borges was a finalist for criticism for his ``Selected Non-Fictions,″ which compiles everything from movie reviews to essays on Dante. Borges, a native of Argentina known all over the world for his surreal stories and parables, died in 1986.

Among the non-nominees: ``Dutch,″ Edmund Morris’ controversial biography of former President Reagan, in which the author inserted himself as a fictional character.

``We do not believe it represents the best of what biographies should be,″ said NBCC president Barbara Hoffert.

David Gates, a fiction nominee in 1999, was nominated this year for his story collection ``The Wonders of the Invisible World.″ Others cited were Jonathan Lethem for ``Motherless Brooklyn,″ Frederick Busch for ``The Night Inspector″ and A. Manette Ansay for ``Midnight Champagne.″

Only two authors nominated for the National Book Award also received NBCC citations: Judith Thurman, for ``Secrets of the Flesh, a biography of the French author Colette, and John W. Dower, an National Book Award winner for ``Embracing Defeat,″ a study of Japan after World War II.

Besides Dower, the ``general nonfiction″ nominees included Jonathan Weiner for ``Time, Love, Memory,″ Patricia Hampl for ``I Could Tell You Stories,″ Jean Paul Kauffmann for ``The Black Room at Longwood″ and Jane Brox for ``Five Thousand Days Like This One.″

The finalists for biography/autobiography were Thurman, Jean Strouse for ``Morgan: American Financier,″ Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones for ``The Trust,″ Richard Holmes for ``Coleridge,″ his second volume on the Romantic poet Samuel Coleridge, and Henry Wiencek for ``The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White.″

Dove’s fellow poetry nominees were Ruth Stone for ``Ordinary Words,″ Rafael Campo for ``Diva,″ Susan Kinsolving for ``Dailies and Rushes″ and Tory Dent for ``HIV, Mon Amour.″

Finalists for criticism included Stuart Klawans for ``Film Follies,″ William Logan for ``Reputations of the Tongue,″ David Shields for ``Black Planet″ and Michael Schmidt for ``Lives of the Poets.″

The winners will be announced March 13. There is no cash prize for awards.

The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, is a not-for-profit organization of book editors and critics with 750 members nationwide.

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