Critical Notes

Roundup: Eric Banks, Susan Gubar, & Kathryn Schulz’s Contrarian Take on ‘The Great Gatsby’

By Jane Ciabattari

Outgoing NBCC president Eric Banks starts a new position as director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU in July; outgoing director Lawrence Weschsler was an NBCC award winner in criticism.

NBCC Sandrof award winner for lifetime achievement Susan Gubar blogs movingly of being a mother with cancer in the New York Times.

NBCC Balakian winner Kathryn Schulz takes a dissenting view of “The Great Gatsby.” (She despises the novel.)

NBCC autobiography winner Leanne Shapton continues to bend the definition of ‘graphic novel’ with her latest, “Was She Pretty?”

NBCC fiction award winner Ben Fountain chooses his top 10 books about Haiti, includes two by Amy Wilentz.

NBCC board member Mark Athitakis asks, “Is the Charismatic Leader in Decline?”

NBCC board member Eric Liebetrau reviews the new Khaled  Husseini novel, “And Mountains Echoed,” for the Boston Globe.

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari celebrates short story month with three top collections at The Daily Beast,  from an ironic, amusing new voice to a posthumous release from a legendary New Zealand author.  (Her own collection is just out in Dzanc Books' rEprint series.)

Read “After the Fox,” a short story by NBCC criticism award winner Marina Warner.

NBCC board member Anne Trubek will be Writer in Residence at Oberlin College in the fall. Here's why

Ron Chernow, NBCC biography honoree, received the BIO award from the  Biographers International Organization

Robert Caro, this year's NBCC biography winner, wins the Plutarch Award for the best biography of 2012 as judged by biographers.

NBCC nonfiction winner Andrew Solomon picks up another award, from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Novelist/critic Hector Tobar points out that Carlos Rojas' inventive novel 'Ingenious Gentleman' and a new edition of the poet-playwright's 'Poet in New York' bring Federico Garcia Lorca back to life. 

NBCC board member Colette Bancroft writes that Laura Lee Smith's first novel, “Heart of Palm,” is about “loving things to death.”

Former NBCC board member Jennifer Reese praises “Americanah,” the new novel by NBCC fiction finalist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for, calling it “as capacious, absorbing and original a novel as you will read this year.” Craig Seligman calls “Americanah” “fascinating” and “infuriating.”

Adam Kirsch on Janet Malcolm's essay collection, “Forty-one False Starts,” in the New York Times Book Review.

Julia M. Klein considers George Packer's “The Unwinding” for the Chicago Tribune.

Afaa Michael Weaver writes about the working-class origins of an American lyric for the Poetry Foundation.

David Duhr takes a look at Benjamin Percy's Red Moon for the Dallas Morning News.

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