Critical Notes

Roundup 11

By Jane Ciabattari

Scott McLemee invokes Robertson Davies (“mind on fire”).

In the Austin Statesman, Edward Nawotka finds Texas oilmen stories in Bryan Burrough’s The Big Rich “gossipy, engrossing.”

All the NBCC finalists published by university presses noted here.

Wilson Quarterly literary editor Sarah Courteau reminds us to look at Aviya Kushner’s “McCulture” on the Wilson website.  Courteau writes: “Kushner teaches at Columbia College Chicago and just completed “And There Was Evening, and There Was Morning,” a book about the experience of reading the Bible in English for the first time after a lifetime of reading it in Hebrew, forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau. Her McCulture essayexamines the split attitude that Americans have toward literature: we love to read bicultural and bilingual authors, but have an aversion to works translated from other cultures. It’s a sophisticated meditation on the subject, and while Aviya concentrates primarily on fiction authors in the essay, she has a track record of writing—and writing about—both poetry and prose.” (How many editors give touts like that!)

Nigel Beale quizzes Rain Taxi editor Eric Lorberer on the book reviewing business.

Poems for Obama’s First Hundred Days here.

David Bukszpan whips that book that won’t write itself on The Economist’s More Intelligent Life blog.

Oscar Villalon pays tribute to the late great Oakley Hall.