Critical Notes

Roundup: Absinthe, Gary Shteyngart and lots of discussion of Elisabeth de Waal

By Eric Liebetrau

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We have an excellent new panel of board members!


Megan Labrise interviews Chang-rae-Lee for Kirkus Reviews.

Andrea Scrima writes about Lynda Schor's Sexual Harassment Rules for the winter issue of the Brooklyn Rail.A

“Best young adult books of 2013,” from Meredith Goldstein and Chelsey Philpot.

Joanna Scutts reviewed Jane Ridley's biography of King Edward VII, The Heir Apparent, for the Washington Post and interviewed Gary Shteyngart about his new memoir Little Failure, for Biographile.

“Gary Shteyngart takes a dark, funny look at his Soviet-Jewish roots.” Heller McAlpin on the acclaimed novelist's memoir.

“This Novel Could Be the Next Suite Francaise,” says Adam Kirsch about Elisabeth de Waal's The Exile's Return.

At the Boston GlobeRayyan Al-Shawaf also takes on The Exile's Return. And he reviews Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

Andrew Ervin also delves into The Exile's Return, for the New York Times Book Review.

Paul Wilner stirs up some Mailer controversy at ZYZZYVA.

Over at the Daily Beast, Mythili Rao rounds up this week's hot reads.

“Muse in a bottle.” NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari explores how absinthe, the “green fairy,” became the drink of choice for writers around the world.

“Empty Nester In 'The Woods': A Modern Dantean Journey.” Maureen Corrigan on Lynn Darling's new memoir.

Fobbit author David Abrams gives us his best-of lists for 2013: Fiction; First Lines; Cover Designs; Publisher of the Year.