Critical Notes

Roundup: Tom Wolfe, Clarice Lispector, Reading the Talmud, and More

By Mark Athitakis

Tom Wolfe’s new novel about Miami, Back to Blood, is having a tough time with critics: Collette Bancroft in the Tampa Bay Times says it feels “back of the times” and “timid,” and Ron Charles in the Washington Post says it “reads like a gabby encyclopedia of ethnic stereotypes.”

Michelle Baillat-Jones reviews a new translation of Clarice Lispector’s novel Agua Viva at Necessary Fiction.

Adam Kirsch is chronicling his reading a page of Talmud a day at Tablet.

Jane Ciabattari interviews Sherman Alexie about his new collection of short stories, Blasphemy, at the Daily Beast.

Michael Lindgren reviews three memoirs about manliness for the Washington Post: Carlos Andres Gomez’s Man Up: Cracking the Code of Modern Manhood, Charles Rowan Beye’s My Husband and My Wives: A Gay Man’s Odyssey, and Davy Rothbart’s My Heart Is an Idiot.

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