Critical Mass, The Blog of the National Book Critics Circle

Critical Notes: Nell Zink, David McCullough, Oliver Sacks, Heidi Julavits, Steven Millhauser, & more

by Eric Liebetrau | May-25-2015

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items, including new about your new publications and recent honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. Make sure to send links that do not require a subscription or username and password.

*************************

"Looking for a brainy yet breezy novel that addresses gender, race, and class issues with levity and has a happy ending? Try Nell Zink’s Mislaid, her second published novel following her critically well-received debut The Wallcreeper in 2014"--from a book review by David Cooper.

Alexandra Schwartz also reviews Zink's new novel.

Heller McAlpin reviews David McCullough's "The Wright Brothers." She also reviews Oliver Sacks' memoir, in addition to Lucas Mann's "Lord Fear."

Charles Twardy also weighs in on McCullough's new biography.

Mike Lindgren reviews "The Richard Peabody Reader."

NBCC board member and autobiography chair Joanna Scutts reviews Heidi Julavits' scrambled diary "The Folded Clock" for the Washington Post.

Don Waters reviews new story collections by Steven Millhauser, Jonathan Lethem, and Luis Alberto Urrea for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Morris Dickstein reflects on the writing of his memoir.

Janette Currie reviews Matthew Pearl's "The Last Bookaneer."

"Earthly gossip and heavenly voices": three reviews by Diane Scharper.

NBCC board member Eric Liebetrau reviews Craig Lambert's "Shadow Work."

Elizabeth Rosner reviews "The Empire of the Senses," by Alexis Landau.

Karl Wolff reviews "The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack," by Ian Tattersall at The Driftless Area Review.

American literary critic and classical scholar Daniel Mendelsohn in conversation with acclaimed Australian writer David Malouf.

Chris Barsanti reviews Neal Stephenson's "Sevenes."

Rachel Shteir reviews "The Argonauts" by Maggie Nelson.

Critical Notes: Jon Krakauer, Elif Shafak, Ron Padgett, Jillian Lauren, Aleksandar Hemon, and more

by Eric Liebetrau | May-18-2015

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items, including new about your new publications and recent honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. Make sure to send links that do not require a subscription or username and password.

*************************

Kerri Arsenault writes about Edwidge Danticat, Luc Sante, Michael Ondaatje, and others.

"Why Whole Foods Is Popping Up In Novels," by Adam Kirsch.

Clifford Garstang reviews "What is Visible" by Kimberly Elkins.

Julie Hakim Azzam reviews Elif Shafak's novel "The Architect's Apprentice" for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Howard Lovy reviews "The Marion Experiment: Long-Term Solitary Confinement and the Supermax Movement."

At Kirkus.com, Megan Labrise interviews investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook ("Tomatoland," 2011). His latest is "Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat."

Margot Mifflin reviews "Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of the New Yorker," by Thomas Kunkel.

"Brief Inner Happiness": NBCC board member David Biespiel's latest Poetry Wire.

Anne Payne reviews "Missoula" by Jon Krakauer.

Gregory Wilkin reviews Joel Samuel Stames' "Red Dirt."

"Rats Build Their Labyrinth: Oulipo in the 21st Century," by Michael Leong.

Laverne Frith reviews "Alone and Not Alone" by Ron Padgett.

"Mark Rothko's tortured, brilliant life explored in new biography," by Angie Jabine.

John Domini reviews Andrew Ervin's "Burning Down George Orwell's House." Domini also reviews Amelia Gray's "Gutshot."

Robert Birnbaum interviews Philip Kerr.

Marian Ryan reviews Sara Bladel's Danish thriller "The Lost Girls."

Michelle Huneven’s "Off Course," reviewed by Lori Feathers.

Michelle Newby reviews Merritt Tierce's "Love Me Back," as well as James Hannaham’s Delicious Foods.

Piali Roy reviews "Discontent and Its Civilizations" by Mohsin Hamid. Roy also reviews "Nothing Like Love" by Sabrina Ramnanan. In addition, Roy reviews Chigozie Obioma’s debut novel, "The Fishermen."

Second Acts: A Second Look at Second Books of Poetry by Rae Armantrout and Ye Chun," by Lisa Russ Spaar.

Michael Magras reviews Ken Kalfus' latest.

Daniel Dyer on Zachary Leader's impeccably researched first volume of "The Life of Saul Bellow."

Through two recent films, Daniel Mendelsohn examines how our robot fantasies derive from Homer.

Meredith Maran reviews Jillian Lauren's "Everything You Ever Wanted."

Karl Wolff reviews "History of Joseph Smith by His Mother," by Lucy Mack Smith.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews Aleksandar Hemon's novel "The Making of Zombie Wars."

"'Re Jane' cleverly recasts Jane Eyre as a Korean American from Queens," by Terry Hong.

NBCC Board member and 2013 Balakian winner Katherine A. Powers reviews "The Fishermen" by Chigozie Obioma. Powers also reviews Kate Atkinson's "A God in Ruins."

Become a Friend of the NBCC




NBCC Awards

See all award winners

Find out how to submit

Read how we select

Frequently Asked Questions

Awards news


Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2014 Awards Ceremony

Ben Fountain and Amy Tan at AWP with Jane Ciabattari

NBCC 2013 Finalists Reading

NBCC 2013 Awards Ceremony

NBCC Finalists Interviewed at The New School

Video: New Literary Journals

Video: The VIDA Count and Gender Bias in Book Reviewing

Podcast: What Is Criticism? NBCC Winners and Finalists at AWP

All videos and podcasts.




SIGN UP FOR CRITICAL NOTES

More from the Critical Mass blog

Critical Notes: Jon Krakauer, Elif Shafak, Ron Padgett, Jillian Lauren, Aleksandar Hemon, and more

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items, including new about your new publications and recent honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. Make sure to

NBCC Panel May 27: Race, Gender and Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 2 p.m. The Center for Fiction 17 E. 47th St., 2nd Floor   NBCC Panel: "Race, Gender, and Book Reviews" NBCC board member

Critical Notes: Maggie Nelson, Elizabeth Alexander, Sarah Manguso, Sally Mann, and more

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items, including new about your new publications and recent honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. Make sure to

Critical Notes: Jane Smiley, Toni Morrison, Kate Atkinson, and more

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items, including new about your new publications and recent honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. Make sure to