Critical Notes

Roundup: Prizes for Obreht, Graham, and Pearlman; More

By Mark Athitakis

The past week brought three major prizes to three women. Nan Graham, who’s worked with writers including Don DeLillo, Annie Proulx, Ann Beattie, and others, has won the 2011 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction; Graham has also edited prominent nonfiction books including Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, an NBCC autobiography prizewinner, and Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies, an NBCC nonfiction finalist. Edith Pearlman has won the 2011 PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in short fiction. And Tea Obreht has won the Orange Prize for her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife; after winning the prize, the Guardian published her appreciation of her grandfather, an important influence on the book.

Jim Carmin reviews Andrew Krivak’s novel The Sojourn in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Ron Charles reviews Ann Patchett’s novel State of Wonder in the Washington Post; Heller McAlpin is similarly enthusiastic about the book at

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews David Mamet’s critique of the left, The Secret Knowledge, in the Boston Globe.

Geri Spieler reviews Justin Martin’s  biography Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmstead, in the New York Journal of Books.

Adam Kirsch reviews Gail Levin’s biography Lee Krasner at Tablet.

Scott Esposito reconsiders David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest as part of a symposium on Wallace at the Quarterly Conversation.

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