Critical Notes

Monday roundup avalanche, 2 weeks in one: 7/15 and 7/22

By Eric Liebetrau

2013 PEN Literary Awards littered with NBCC connections.

“When a loved one dies, people rarely get time to grieve fully, or find words to express its strange reality.” Matthew Jakubowski reviews Claire Donato's experimental first novel, Burial, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His short story “The Designer” also appears in the current issue of Corium Magazine.

“Periodically, we hear that fiction is dead or at least seriously impaired, a belief spectacularly disproved by the four United for Libraries panels at the recent American Library Association conference in Chicago.” Library Journal editor Barbara Hoffert on exciting new fiction.

Which way to the beach? Michele Filgate on the perfect summer reads.

Julia M. Klein reviews Jessica Lott's The Rest of Us for the Chicago Tribune.

Mystery author Clea Simon reviews J. Courtney Sullivan's The Engagements for the Boston Globe.

NBCC board member David L. Ulin on Rebecca Gayle Howell's apocalyptic poetry collection, Render.

Fellow board member Colette Bancroft reviews Karen Brown's first novel, The Longings of Wayward Girls. She also reviews James Lee Burke's latest Robicheaux novel, Light of the World.

Julia M. Klein reviews Katie Hafner's Mother Daughter Me for Slate. She also reviews Barbara Perry's Rose Kennedy for the Boston Globe. For the Chicago Tribune, she reviews Mac Griswold's The Manor.

“A five-sense writer, Stothard captures character’s rawness in Pink Hotel.” Heller McAlpin on Anna Stothard's new novel.

For The L Magazine, Michael Lindgren examines Sophie Cabot Black's poetry collection The Exchange.

An erotic novel in verse! Craig Seligman on the late David Rakoff's “short, acrid, elusive, entrancing” Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish. Heller McAlpin also chimes in.

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari talks to Mac Griswold, author of The Manor, about a slave plantation on Shelter Island, in The Daily Beast.

“What Would James Agee Say About the George Zimmerman Trial?”, asks Adam Kirsch in the New Republic.

“The Rise of the Fragmented Novel: An Essay in 26 Fragments, by Ted Gioia.

Balakian winner Ron Charles on The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., a delectable, dark account of Manhattan amour.”

“A Multiplicity of Voices: On the Polyphonic Novel,” an essay by Michael David Lukas in The Millions.

Balakian winner Parul Sehgal's 5 Forgotten Classics to Revisit.

Maureen Corrigan on J.K. Rowling's…ahem…Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling. NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg also weighs in on post-Potter Rowling.

John Domini reviews Gabe Durham's Fun Camp for the Brooklyn Rail.

“Seattle author Valerie Trueblood’s new story collection, Search Party: Stories of Rescue, shows the author as a skilled storyteller and perceptive observer of the social order.”

Walton Muyumba interviews 2012 NBCC Fiction Award winner Ben Fountain for the Dallas Morning News.

“Her swerving sentences roam, loop, and circle back, then take flight again; her meditations often encompass personal history, art, philosophy, and literature within the same paragraph. Her work is both cerebral and intensely personal. She takes big risks.” Carmela Ciararu examines Rebecca Solnit's latest thought-provoker, The Faraway Nearby.


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