Critical Notes

Roundup: Paul Auster, Richard Powers, Rebecca Mead, E.L. Doctorow, and Greg Grandin

By Eric Liebetrau

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Don't forget to check out the 2013 30 Books in 30 Days, featuring reviews of the 30 NBCC finalists over the next month.


“This Fan’s Notes: A Football Elegy” by Sebastian Stockman.

Jan Alexander reviews Paul Auster's Report from the Interior in the Neworld Review.

Julia M. Klein reviews Jeremy Dauber's The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem and Alisa Solomon's Wonder of Wonders for the Nation. She also reviews Sarah Churchwell's Careless People for the Boston Globe.

In the Washington Post, new member Joanna Scutts reviews Churchwell's book.

My Life in Middlemarch is a smart, delightful blend of biography, memoir, reportage, and a celebration of George Eliot's most famous novel.” Carmela Ciuraru on journalist Rebecca Mead's new book.

Linda Simon also examines Mead's book.

Maureen Corrigan reviews Greg Grandin's The Empire of Necessity. She also reviews Flyover Lives by Diane Johnson.

Orfeo displays all the excellences for which Richard Powers is celebrated.” John Domini on the acclaimed author's latest novel.

NBCC board member Anne Trubek, interviewed about BeltMag, the publication she founded 6 months ago.

Erika Dreifus reviews Elisabeth de Waal's The Exiles Return for the Washington Post.

For the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Julie Hakim Azzam talks with Ayelet Waldman about her upcoming novel, Love and Treasureand reviews Jenny Offill's Dept. of Speculation.

NBCC board member David Biespiel delivers an annual State of Poetry address on the unprecedented threats to the art of poetry.

Michael Lindgren reviews The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov.

“Anna Quindlen Is (Still) The Voice Of Her Generation.” Heller McAlpin on the author's new novel. McAlpin also reviews E.L. Doctorow's “puzzling” latest. She also reviews Richard Powers' latest.

In the San Francisco ChronicleNatalie Bakopoulos reviews Maria Hummel's Motherland.

George De Stefano delves into Morrissey's autobiography.

For Kirkus ReviewsMegan Labrise's Q&A with Yu Hua, Beijing-based author of Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China (translated by Allan H. Barr), and interviews with E.L. DoctorowJoyce Carol Oates and New Yorker staffer Rebecca Mead.

Gerald Bartell interviews Robert Harris for Kirkus Reviews.