Critical Notes

Roundup: Mo Yan, Karen Russell, P.G. Wodehouse, and More

By Mark Athitakis

Katherine A. Powers reviews P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters for the Barnes & Noble Review.

Jim Carmin reviews Karen Russell's short-story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Eileen Weiner reviews Amity Gaige's novel Schroder for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Julia M. Klein reviews Richard Rashke's Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals for the Jewish Daily Forward, and Betsy Prioleau's Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them for the Chicago Tribune.

Sarah Courteau reviews George Saunders' short-story collection Tenth of December for the New Republic.

Heller McAlpin reviews Jamaica Kincaid's novel See Now Then for

Rod Davis reviews NBCC fiction finalist Ben Fountain's novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk for Plaza de Armas.

Matthew Jakubowski reviews Mo Yan's novel POW! for the National.

Our “30 Books” series on this year's finalists for our awards continues this week: Take a look at our previous entries on books by Laurent Binet, Reyna Grande, Steve Coll, and more. We hope you'll consider attending our February 27 finalists reading and February 28 awards ceremony, and purchasing a ticket to the reception immediately after the awards. If you're a working book critic and not a member, please consider joining; you can also support our work by becoming a Friend of the NBCC.

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 or posting on the wall of our Facebook page.