A biography on Lippmann among 1980 prizewinners

The literary-prize season opened Monday when the National Book Critics Circle named four 1980 books as winners of its prestigious sixth annual awards: General nonfiction: "Walter Lippmann and the American Century," by Ronald Steel; Fiction: "The Transit of Venuz," by Shirley Hazzard; Poetry: "Sunrise," by Frederick Seidel; Criticism: "Part of Nature, Part of Us: Modern American Poets, " by Helen Vendler.

The 300-member organization, composed of book critics and editors throughout the United States, will honor the winners at a ceremony after its annual meeting in New York Jan. 22. Other awards still to come include the Pulitzers for literature on Ap ril 13 and the American Book Awards in April or May.

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