Critical Notes

Monday Roundup: Kate Atkinson, Rachel Kushner, the Rise of the Venezuelan Novel and more

By Eric Liebetrau

2012 NBCC Fiction Award winner Ben Fountain grabs another honor: the Texas Institute of Letters award.

“For the reader's sake, I wish Katznelson (or his editor) had been incisive enough to extract the shorter, sharper book buried in this long and often bland one.” Craig Seligman dissects Ira Katznelson's Fear ItselfHe also provides another solid review for Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers.

NBCC board member Anne Trubek examines the tenure track in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

For NPR, NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari reviews Fiona Maazel's Woke Up Lonely, “a deliriously inventive tale of love and spycraft.”

Kate Atkinson continues to garner positive reviews for her latest novel, Life After Life. Mary Ann Gwinn reviews it for the Seattle Times.

“A Poet Grapples with Faith and Death.” Walton Muyumba on Christian Wiman's memoir, My Bright Abyss.

NPR: NBCC board member Marcela Valdes explores the rise of the Venezuelan novel.

Here I Am, a biography of the late war photographer Tim Hetherington, reviewed in the Boston Globe by board member Eric Liebetrau.

A conversation with 2012 NBCC Fiction Award winner Ben Fountain in Pegasus News.

Maureen Corrigan reflects on Patricia Volk's new memoir, Shocked.

Adeed Dawisha's The Second Arab Awakening receives a review from Rayyan Al-Shawaf in Truthdig.

A Tablet magazine review of André Aciman's new novel Harvard Square, from Adam Kirsch.

Carl Rollyson on his favorite Hollywood biographies.

In the Indian Express, NBCC board member Steven G. Kellman investigates the latest novel from Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee.

Inside the Festival of Books with NBCC board members Carolyn Kellogg and David Ulin.

Jonathan Dee's A Thousand Pardons, reviewed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Eileen Weiner.

Another award for 2012 NBCC General Nonfiction Award winner Andrew Solomon: Media for Just Society Distinguished Achievement Award in Nonfiction.

“He can be very funny, but his humor — satirical and discomfiting — is more about upsetting a reader's equilibrium than pure entertainment.” Jacob Silverman reviews Arnon Grunberg's Tirza for the L.A. Times.