Nona Balakian

Nona Balakian (Constantinople, September 4, 1918 - New York City, April 5, 1991) was a literary critic and an editor at the New York Times Sunday Book Review.[1] She served on the Pulitzer Prize committee and was a board member of the Authors Guild and the Pen Club as well as a founder of the National Book Critics Circle, whose Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing is named for her.[2]

Nona Balakian
Nona Balakian's high school yearbook class photo (Horace Mann) 02.jpg
Balakian in 1937
BornSeptember 4, 1918
DiedAugust 12, 1991(1991-08-12) (aged 72)
OccupationLiterary Critic
Known forEditor at the New York Times Sunday Book Review, founder of the National Book Critics Circle
RelativesGrigoris Balakian (granduncle)
Anna Balakian (sister)
Peter Balakian (nephew)
Nona Balakian signature.jpg

She and her sister, Anna Balakian, a literary critic and professor at New York University who died in 1997, were members of a literary circle that also included the playwright William Saroyan and the diarist Anaïs Nin.[3] The Balakian sisters were the grandnieces of the archbishop and Armenian genocide survivor Grigoris Balakian and the aunts of the poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Balakian.[4]


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  3. ^ Grace Glueck (August 15, 1997). "Anna Balakian, 82, a Professor of Comparative Literature". The New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Peter Balakian, Black Dog of Fate (BasicBooks, 1997), family tree on two unnumbered pages (several pages before page 1)