Critical Notes

Roundup, all-star edition: Amos Oz, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jesmyn Ward, Julian Barnes, Stanley Crouch, etc.

By Eric Liebetrau

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New NBCC member Elizabeth Rosner reviews Tracy Guzeman's The Gravity of Birds. Thanks to a firewall, this review is posted on the reviewer's Facebook page.

“Bringing readers together with the radical books they should know — or, conversely, challenging the ideological pollution dumped in the public sphere by our unstable, unequal, moribund society — is part of this magazine’s mission.” An essay from NBCC Balakian winner and former board member Scott McLemee in his new role as book review editor of Jacobin magazine.

Julia M. Klein reviews Amos Oz's Between Friends for the Chicago Tribune.

In the Kansas City Star, Linda Simon reviews Jhumpa Lahiri's “delicate new novel,” The Lowlands.

From NBCC board member Megan O'Grady: “Jhumpa Lahiri in Rome: The Pulitzer Prize–Winner Talks About Her New Novel and New Ideas.” O'Grady also provides a review of the book.

Debra Cash reviews Elizabeth Wayland Barber's The Dancing Goddesses. She also reviews Yoko Ono's Acorn.

In the New York Journal of BooksGeorge De Stefano reviews Alexander Cockburn's A Colossal Wreck.

NBCC board member David L. Ulin reports from the Brooklyn Book Festival. Ulin also reviews the new Salinger bio.

“Quirky destinations along America's roadways have provided relief for the road-weary, providing entertainment for families on long trips to somewhere else. But for Tanya Ward Goodman, Tinkertown wasn't just a quick stop — it was home. Her father built it.” NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg interviews Goodman about her memoir.

“Organizing a giveaway of the banned novel Invisible Man showed me how much we value the freedom to read.” In honor of Banned Books Week, Laura Miller examines this unfortunate process.

NBCC award winners Andrew Solomon and Adam Johnson win the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

More on the new Pynchon novel, called his “9/11 anticlimax” by Craig Seligman in Newsday.

“A quirky but ultimately powerful meditation on things that uplift us…and things that bring us crashing to earth: to wit, that great leveler, the death of a loved one.” Heller McAlpin reviews Julian Barnes' new memoir.

Hope Reese reviews NBA-winner Jesmyn Ward's new memoir, Men We Reaped.

Craig Morgan Teicher weighs in on Stanley Crouch's bio of Charlie Parker, Kansas City Lightning.

On the latest installment of The Book Reader, David Haglund discusses Merle Haggard and Nicholson Baker's latest novel.

NBCC board member Tom Beer reviews Amanda Lindhout's harrowing memoir, A House in the Sky.

In the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Carmela Ciuraru reviews Hanya Yanagihara's The People in the Trees.

NBCC board member Colette Bancroft writes that David Finkel's Thank You for Your Service “give[s] the after-war human faces that readers will not soon forget.”

Former NBCC board director Steve Weinberg reviews The Explanation for Everything by Lauren Grodstein in the Dallas Morning News.