Critical Notes

Roundup 13

By Eric Banks

A couple of items on the state of the book review (and the future of newspapers): On NPR, CBS editorial director Dick Meyer talks about the vanishing standalone section, and at Salon, Gary Kamiya discusses the dark clouds over the newspaper business.

In the Detroit Free Press, board member Mary Ann Gwinn reviews Leonard Downie Jr.’s Rules of the Game, and in the Seattle Times writes on John Harwood’s The Seance

In the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, board member Geeta Sharma-Jensen profiles poet Matthea Harvey, whose third collection of poems, Modern Life, just received the $100,000 Kingley Tufts Poetry Award (Modern Life was a 2007 NBCC Finalist in Poetry).

Over at the Daily Beast, NBCC president Jane Ciabattari talks to Colson Whitehead about his new novel, Sag Harbor. David Orr writes in the New York Times Book Review on the great question of American poetic greatness, while at Barnes & Noble Review Scott McLemee considers a new biography of Hubert Harrison and contributes a review of Vivian Gornick’s The Men in Life, an NBCC finalist in criticism.

It’s the 300th birthday of Samuel Johnson, and at Slate NBCC member Adam Kirsch offers his perspective on two new Johnson biographies. For those who wish to celebrate the tricentennial daily, Yale University’s Beinecke Libraray is plumbing the remarkable depths of Dr. Johnson’s dictionary with a word-of-the-day blog.

And from the LA Times comes word that an early and unanthologized Cheever story is being republished online at Five Chapters.