Critical Notes

Roundup 19

By Jane Ciabattari

Balakian winner Sam Anderson sets up a duel between this year’s first-ever National Book Critics Circle Poetry Award dual winners Juan Felipe Herrera and August Kleinzahler here.

Geeta Sharma-Jensen drops in on a Granta party in Chicago, talks to Chicago area writers with new books due out soon: James McManus, Aleksandar Hemon, Bich Minh Nguyen, Joe Meno, S.L. Wisenberg.

Scott McLemee has a rollicking good interview with C. Wright Mills scholar John H. Summers, notes that “something of the maverick sociologist’s feeling for intellectual craftsmanship runs throughout Summers’ work.”

Heller McAlpin sends along this Mark Twain classic  on book reviewers from Barnes and Noble Review. And in her review of Arthur Phillips’ novel “The Song Is You,” she finds echoes of “Lolita.”

In her review of “The Weight of Heaven,” Ellen Heltzel calls Thrity Umigar’s view of her native India and the US “gimlet-eyed.”

Lizzie Skurnick reads her “Grand Central, Track 23.”