University of Rochester

Karaoke Culture, from Open Letter Books, Named Finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award

January 24, 2012

Karaoke Culture by Dubravka Ugresic, a collection of essays published by Open Letter Books at the University of Rochester, was recently named a 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

"To have one of our books selected as a NBCC Award finalist—one of the most prestigious honors in U.S. publishing—brings real validation to us here at Open Letter and to our mission of bringing the best literature from around the world to English-language readers," said publisher Chad W. Post. "To have that book be Karaoke Culture is all the more thrilling. Author Dubravka Ugresic is one of Europe's shrewdest—and most entertaining—cultural thinkers, and we're exceptionally proud to have our name appear alongside hers."

Nominated in the category of criticism, Karaoke Culture is collection of candid and opinionated essays about Ugresic's insights into pop culture and conformism, translated from Croatian by David Williams.

Ugresic is the author of numerous works of fiction, including The Museum of Unconditional Surrender and The Ministry of Pain, and several essay collections, such as Thank You for Not Reading and Nobody's Home (also published by Open Letter).

Ugresic's Karaoke Culture will compete against several other celebrated books, including David Bellos's Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything (Faber and Faber), Geoff Dyer's Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews (Graywolf), Jonathan Lethem's The Ecstasy of Influence (Doubleday), and Ellen Willis's Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music (University of Minnesota Press).

The National Book Critics Circle is a nonprofit organization of book reviewers and critics that honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature, in part through annual awards for the year's outstanding books. Works are nominated and chosen by leading book critics.

Winners of the National Book Critics Circle Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, March 8, at 6 p.m. at The New School in New York. For the full list of nominees for the 2012 awards and more, visit For additional information about Open Letter Books, visit