Critical Notes

Roundup: more looks back at 2013 and a look forward to the new year; and more

By Eric Liebetrau

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items to


Erika Dreifus spotlights five “Jewish books” to look forward to in 2014 for The Forward's Arty Semite blog.

Harvey Freedenberg reveals his Favorite Fiction of 2013.

NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg offers a quiz on the year in books.

Katherine A. Powers discovers the Irish crime writer Gene Kerrigan in 2013.

“To Dream a Dream: Georges Perec’s Night Visions.” Lauren Elkin on the great French writer.

Jane Ciabattari on Olivia Laing's The Trip to Echo Spring, a literary pilgrimage to the haunts of six writers who also were prodigious drinkers.

NBCC board member David L. Ulin looks back on 5 literary scandals and contretemps of the year.

In the Washington PostRon Charles reviews Ishmael Beah's new novel, Radiance of Tomorrow.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews The House with a Sunken Courtyard, by Kim Won-il.

“Ice Cube Sculptures, Tulips And Death: A 2014 Poetry Preview,” from Craig Morgan Teicher.

NBCC board member Gregg Barrios talks to Richard Blanco.

“Post Christmas Literary Gifts: A Sparkling Jewel and Some Gems in Brief,” from Linda Wolfe.

Bill Williams reviews I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai in the Palm Beach ArtsPaper.

Julia M. Klein reviews Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit for Columbia Journalism Review.