Critical Notes

Midweek Roundup 4

By Jane Ciabattari

Ellen Heltzel talks to PW.

NBCC Tech VP Lizzie Skurnick takes time from working on the launch of the upgraded NBCC website and blog to interview Author and Indie Publisher Kelly Link at the 21st annual Indie and Small Press Book Fair in NYC on December 6 at 5 pm.

Marcela Valdes investigates the making and meaning of Roberto Bolaño’s final novel “2666.”

John Freeman covers the National Book Awards.

David L.Ulin reports on a lost Bob Dylan collaboration.

Jonah Raskin finds Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Outliers” “unabashedly inspiring.”

Benjamin Lytal says “Americans should be able to read [Clive James’s] poetry on its own merits, free from visions of ‘Saturday Night Clive.’” But…

Cynthia Haven explores a little-known connection between Czeslaw Miłosz and a controversial Polish saint, Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest, widely accused of anti-Semitism, who nevertheless died in Auschwitz; before his arrest, his monastery had sheltered several thousand Jews.

Michael O’Donnell reminds us of an old Chicago joke in his review of Jay P. Dolan’s “The Irish Americans.”

Jacob Silverman thinks about Adam Kirsch and “literary balance” on the VQR website. Silverman, a new blogger at VQR, is a new NBCC member and a finalist in the VQR’s young reviewers contest.