Critical Notes

Roundup: Philip Roth, Jonathan Evison, New War Novels, and More

By Mark Athitakis

Seven-time NBCC finalist (and one-time winner) Philip Roth took to the New Yorker’s Page Turner blog to ask Wikipedia to correct its entry on his novel The Human Stain. On a related note: Blake Bailey, twice an NBCC finalist and a winner for his biography of John Cheever, is working on a biography of Roth with the author’s cooperation.

Gerald Bartell delivers some tips for breaking into book reviewing at the blog of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Eric Banks reviews Zadie Smith’s novel NW for the New York Observer.

Adam Kirsch reviews Michael Chabon’s novel Telegraph Avenue for Tablet.

Jacob Silverman reviews four novels about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan—David Abrams’ Fobbit, Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds, and  T. Geronimo Johnson’s Hold It ‘Til It Hurts-for Slate. Joseph Peschel reviews Fobbit for the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

Colette Bancroft reviews Jonathan Evison’s novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving for the Tampa Bay Times.

George De Stefano reviews David M. Halperin’s How to Be Gay for the New York Journal of Books.

Jim Carmin reviews Junot Diaz’s new story collection, This Is How You Lose Her, for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Cody Corliss reviews Jeanne Marie Laskas'  Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Your reviews and recommendations help seed these roundups: If you’re an NBCC member with a review you’d like considered for inclusion, please email You can also get our attention by using the Twitter hashtag #nbcc, posting on the wall of our Facebook page, or joining our members-only LinkedIn group.