Critical Notes

Roundup: E.L. Doctorow, Richard Powers, Gary Shteyngart and more

By Eric Liebetrau

Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items to


Jan Gardner on Marilyn Nelson's How I Discovered Poetry.

“Something More than Style”: NBCC board member David Biespiel's latest Poetry Wire.

Heller McAlpin reviews Jim Harrison's latest. She also reviews the latest novel from Richard Powers.

Powers' Orfeo also merits a review from Adam Kirsch.

Susan Froetschel has been nominated as a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award.

NBCC board member Steven G. Kellman reviews Lara Vapnyar's The Scent of Pine.

Wanchee Wang has reviewed What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell for New Jersey Monthly.

Meganne Fabrega was recently awarded a creative writing fellowship by the American Antiquarian Society in order to work on her book about the creative and personal partnership of children's author Amy E. Blanchard and artist Ida Waugh.

David Cooper reviews E.L. Doctorow's Adam's Brain for the New York Journal of Books.

In the Kenyon Review, Joelle Biele reviews John Koethe's ROTC Kills.

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari reviews Rachel Urquhart's first novel.

Heather L. Seggel reviews Melissa Pritchard's Palmerino.

In the Chicago TribuneJulia M. Klein reviews Elisabeth de Waal's The Exiles Return.

Michele Bailat-Jones reviews Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir's The Greenhouse.

In the Nation, Jon Wiener interviews Gary Shteyngart. Also from Wiener, “When Nixon asked Haldeman about Philip Roth.”

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews Shteyngart's new novel.

From NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg, “Jesse Ball's slippery Silence Once Begun built on false confession.”