Critical Mass, The Blog of the National Book Critics Circle

Barkskins, Stephen King and Orlando

by Elizabeth Taylor | Jun-20-2016

Annie Proulx's Barkskins attracted significant attention from book reviewers. 

Jeffrey Ann Goudie reviews the novel for the Kansas City Star. 

Board member Colette Bancroft reviews Barkskins for the Tampa Bay Times.  (Bancroft also reviews Stephen King's End of Watch  for the Tampa Bay Times,)

For the Houston Chronicle, Michael Magras reviews Barkskins. (He also reviews Benjamin Rybeck's The Sadness for the Houston Chronicle.)

For the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Jim Carmin reviews Barkskins. And for Oregonlive and The Oregonian, Jim Carmin writes on Pauls Toutonghi and his new book, Dog Gone

And, finally, past NBCC President and current VP/Online Jane Ciabattari leads off her column for LitHub with Barkskins. (She also includes the fiction of Lian Hearn, Max Porter, Yaa Gyasi and Anna Noyes.) 

Robert Fay reviews Hideo Furukawa's novel Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure for The Quarterly Conversation

Hélène Cardona reviews Cast Off by Daniel Simon for Poetry International.

Past NBCC Board Member Karen Long reviews The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks for Newsday and Jill Lepore’s Joe Gould’s Teeth for the Los Angeles Times

Michael Leong reviews Christian Bök's The Xenotext: Book 1 for American Scientist.

Joe Peschel reviews Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend in the News & Observer. 

For Harrisburg Magazine, Harvey Freedenberg reviews Jennifer Haigh’s Heat and Light and also Lucia Berlin’s Manual for Cleaning Women.

For The Washington Independent Review of Books, Joseph A. Esposito reviews 67 Shots by Howard Means and also Five Presidents by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin.  

Julia M. Klein reviews Judith Freeman's The Latter Days for the Chicago Tribune and reviews Susan Faludi's In the Darkroom for the Boston Globe. For the Forward, Julia M. Klein reviews In Those Nightmarish Days: The Ghetto Reportage of Peretz Opoczynski and Josef Zelkowicz edited and with an introduction by Samuel D. Kassow; translated and co-edited by David Suchoff. 

Michael Lindgren writes about Michael Shelden’s Melville in Love and David O. Dowling’s Surviving the Essex for the Washington Post.  

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, by Ben Ehrenreich for the Los Angeles Times and Their Promised Land, My Grandparents in Love and War, by Ian Buruma for Truthdig

In Dallas Morning News, Robert Hoover reviews Grunt by Mary Roach.

Past Board member Eric Liebetrau reviews Sebastian Junger’s Tribe for the Boston Globe and also reviews James McBride’s Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul for Columbia Magazine.

Poets & Writers interviews LA Times Book Editor and past Board NBCC Board member Carolyn Kellogg. Asked what she is eager to read, she said,  "My prior regular reviewing responsibilities and my recently concluded tenure on the board of the National Book Critics Circle used to dominate my reading. I have Jean Stein’s West of Eden in my to-read pile and I’ll probably blend stuff I’ve missed—Anna Karenina!— with new books, like Idra Novey’s Ways to Disappear.”

Finally, in a closing note, as mourning and outrage follow tragedy in Orlando, past NBCC Board member Rigoberto Gonzales writes a moving essay in Buzzfeed titled “I Found A Home In Clubs Like Pulse In Cities Like Orlando." 


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Critical Notes Catch-up: Louise Erdrich, Richard Russo, David Means, and more

by Michele Filgate | Jun-09-2016

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NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari writes about the Bay Area Book Festival for Literary Hub.  (It includes embedded video of former NBCC president John Freeman interviewing NBCC criticism winner Rebecca Solnit.)

NBCC board member Colette Bancroft reviews “Blood, Bone, and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews” for the Tampa Bay Times.

NBCC board member Kate Tuttle interviews Negin Farsad for The Boston Globe.

NBCC board member Ron Charles considers Justin Cronin’s “The City of Mirrors” for The Washington Post.

NBCC board member Laurie Hertzel interviews Louise Erdrich for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Hertzel also reviews “Fever at Dawn,” by Peter Gardos and writes about the worst moms in literature.

NBCC board member Greg Barrios review’s HBO’s film based on Robert Schenkkan’s Tony award-winning play on Lyndon Baines Johnson for the Texas Observer.

NBCC board member and 2013 Balakian winner Katherine A. Powers reviews Simon Sebag Montefiore's "The Romanovs: 1613 – 1918” and C.E. Morgan’s “The Sport of Kings” for the Barnes & Noble Review. 

Former NBCC board member Rigoberto González writes about NBCC board member Greg Barrios for  NBC News.

Former NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg, book editor at the Los Angeles Times, interviews Lisa Lucas, new head of the National Book Foundation.

Paul Devlin reviews "Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem" for Bomb Magazine.

Anjali Enjeti reviews Laurence Leamer’s “The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan” for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and writes about literary translations for Literary Hub.

Rebecca Donner reviews “Hystopia” by David Means for Bookforum.

David Cooper reviews “The Extra” by A.B. Yehoshua for the New York Journal of Books.

C.M. Mayo reviews Whitley Strieber and Jeffrey J. Kripal's “The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained” for Literal Magazine.

Bob Hoover reviews Nathaniel Philbrick’s “Valiant Ambition” for the Dallas Morning News and Richard Russo’s “Everybody’s Fool” for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Michael Sandlin reviews Jeremy Geltzer’s “Dirty Words and Filthy Pictures” for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

John Domini reviews Natashia Deón’s “Grace” and Allison Amend’s “Enchanted Islands” for the Brooklyn Rail, and Maurizio de Giovanni’s “The Bastards of Pizzofalcone” for Bookforum.

Michael Leong reviews Dorothy J. Wang’s Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry for Contemporary Literature.

Dominic Green assesses the novels of Patrick Modiano in an essay for The New Criterion.

Ellen Akins reviews Jean Thomspon’s “She Poured Out Her Heart” and Louise Erdrich’s “LaRose” for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Diane Scharper reviews “The Berrigan Letters: Personal Correspondence between Daniel and Philip Berrigan” for Crux.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie reviews Louise Erdrich’s “LaRose” for the Kansas City Star.

Bradley Sides reviews Lee Clay Johnson’s “Nitro Mountain” for Electric Literature.

Paul Wilner reviews Richard Russo’s “Everybody’s Fool” for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lisa Russ Spaar takes a look at second books of poetry by James Tate and Sam Taylor for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

George de Stefano reviews “Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World” by Gregory Woods for  PopMatters.

Lori Feathers reviews Peter Stamm’s “All Days Are Night” (translated by Michael Hoffman) for Three Percent.

Joe Peschel reviews “Hystopia” by David Means in the News & Observer.

Michael Magras reviews Louise Erdrich’s “LaRose” for the Houston Chronicle and Julian Barnes’s “The Noise of Time” for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Joan Silverman reviews Jill Lepore’s “Joe Gould’s Teeth” for the Portland Press Herald.

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