Critical Notes

Roundup: NBCC Reads, Margaret Drabble, Joe Lansdale, and more massive praise for Donna Tartt

By Eric Liebetrau

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NBCC Reads:

Novelist Richard Powers, a four-time NBCC fiction finalist, launches the new NBCC Reads series. What's your favorite NBCC finalist of all time? See more here.

Balakian winner Ron Charles helps us launch the NBCC Reads series, which celebrates 40 years of reviewing.


Marion Winik on Donna Tartt, in Newsday.

Eileen Weiner also takes on Tartt's “stunning literary achievement.”

In the Virginia Quarterly Review, Sebastian Stockman debuts his “Talismans” series with an interview with Gregory Maguire.

Joanna Scutts reviews Mary Beard's essay collection Confronting the Classics for the Washington Post.

David Duhr reviews Joe R. Lansdale's The Thicket for the Dallas Morning News.

“If You're Looking To Read 'Lady Things,' Choose Jezebel Over Jones.” Maureen Corrigan on Mad About the Boy and The Book of Jezebel.

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari talks to Jayne Anne Phillips about her new novel Quiet Dell. Based on a sensational Depression-era mass murder, Quiet Dell was written, Phillips says, “to make these children’s lives real and memorable. To make sure they were not erased.”

NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg reviews Richard Kadrey's new novel, Dead Set.

Julia M. Klein reviews Wendy Lower's Hitler's Furies and Ben Urwand's The Collaboration for the Boston Globe.

New NBCC member Ryan Teitman on Amy Leach's Things that Are.

Katherine A. Powers reviews Vidar Sundstøl's The Land of Dreams.

NBCC board member David L. Ulin's notes from the 2013 Brooklyn Book Festival.

Carmela Ciuraru reviews Margaret Drabble's The Pure Gold Baby. She also reviews Jo Baker's Longbourn.

Critic Je Banach interviewed for Columbia College Review Lab. Banach will also be returning to the Yale Writers' Conference as a member of the residential faculty in 2014.

For Salon, Laura Miller talks to Donna Tartt about “her new novel, Captain Kangaroo as Oprah, and the trouble with female characters.”

Heller McAlpin examines Roth Unbound.

Former NBCC board member Linda Wolfe on how a rules change made it possible for Alice Munro to win the NBCC fiction award in 1998 for The Love of a Good Woman.

In the Texas Observer, NBCC board member Steven G. Kellman examines the world's first bookless library.

NBCC board member Gregg Barrios: “Op-Ed: Dear Texas Book Festival—Where Have All the Latino Writers Gone?”

LISTEN to 2012 NBCC General Nonfiction Award winner Andrew Solomon discuss his book, Far from the Tree.

Erika Dreifus suggests “10 Ways to Celebrate Jewish Book Month” on The Forward's Arty Semite blog.

2012 NBCC Biography Award winner Robert Caro on “viewing Kennedy through LBJ’s eyes.”

Jan Gardner examines the latest collection of the best American short stories.