NBCC at the Brooklyn Book Festival: Name That Author!

By Jane Ciabattari

National Book Critics Circle “Name that Author” contest
Brooklyn Book Festival,
September 13, 2009.
12 pm on the main stage
Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn

Emcee: John Reed is book editor of The Brooklyn Rail. His work has been published in Art in America, Open City, Artnet, Artforum, Paper Magazine, New York Press, Brooklyn Rail, Time Out New York, BOMB Magazine, Playboy and many other venues; he is the author of the novels, A STILL SMALL VOICE (Delacorte), THE WHOLE (MTV / Simon & Schuster), the 2004 bestseller, SNOWBALL’S CHANCE (Roof),  ALL THE WORLD’S A GRAVE: A NEW PLAY BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (Penguin/Plume), and the forthcoming TALES OF WOE (MTV Press). He is an Associate Creative Writing Professor at New School University

Defending champ Brigid Hughes is the founding editor of A Public Space, an independent magazine of literature and culture. Previously, she was the editor of The Paris Review.

New Contestants:

David Haglund is the managing editor of PEN America, the literary magazine published by PEN American Center. He has taught literature and writing at Harvard, Oxford, and Hunter College, and has written for The London Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, Bookforum, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn.

Steven G. Kellman was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing in 2007.  His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Texas Observer, Chronicle of Higher Education,, Chicago Tribune, Review of Contemporary Fiction, the Believer, Bookforum, and Georgia Review.  His books include Redemption: The Life of Henry Roth (Norton, 2005), The Translingual Imagination (Nebraska, 2000), Loving Reading: Erotics of the Text (Archon, 1985), and The Self-Begetting Novel (Columbia, 1980).  Kellman is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

David Kipen is the author of The Schreiber Theory: A Radical Rewrite of American Film History, translator of Cervantes’ The Dialogue of the Dogs (both from Melville House), and editor of A Raft of Books: How American Literature Saved Our Lives (Bloomsbury, forthcoming in 2010). For seven years book editor and then critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, he currently serves as Director of Literature for national reading initiatives at the NEA, where he shepherds The Big Read. He apologizes in advance for any displays of poor sportsmanship at the Name that Author panel.

Maureen N. McLane is a critic, poet, and scholar. A contributing editor at Boston Review, her articles on poetry, contemporary fiction, teaching, and sexuality have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Post, American Poet, The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix, Chicago Review, and Harvard Review. In 2003 she won the National Book Critics Circle Nona Balakian Award for Excellence in Book Reviewing. She is the author of Same Life: Poems (FSG, 2008), Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2008), and Romanticism and the Human Sciences: Poetry, Population and the Discourse of the Species (CUP, 2000; paperback, 2006); she is also co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry (CUP, 2008).  She is currently associate professor of English at NYU.

Geeta Sharma Jensen is an NBCC board member, the former books editor of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and a graduate of Bennington’s low residency MFA program. Her short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic and Hunger Mountain.

Martha Southgate is the author of Third Girl from the Left , which won the Best Novel of the year award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It was shortlisted for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy award. Her previous novel, The Fall of Rome, received the 2003 Alex Award from the American Library Association and was named one of the best novels of 2002 by Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post. She is also the author of Another Way to Dance, which won the Coretta Scott King Genesis Award for Best First Novel. Her non-fiction articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O, Premiere, and Essence. She was the Associate Chair of the Writing Department at Eugene Lang College at New School University and has taught there as well. She now teaches in the Brooklyn College MFA program. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two children.

Craig Morgan Teicher is the poetry editor for Publishers Weekly.  His reviews also appear in many other publications, including Bookforum, Boston Review and Time Out New York.  His first book of poetry, Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems, came out in 2008.  He lives in Brooklyn.


Eric Banks is a Brooklyn-based critic, former editor of Bookforum, NBCC board member and Critical Mass blog chair.

Jane Ciabattari is a fiction writer, critic, and NBCC president.

Clues are drawn from the texts of the NBCC award winners in fiction over the past 35 years.