Critical Notes

Roundup: Wendy Lesser, Otto Penzler, Gary Snyder, Ron Rash, and more

By Eric Liebetrau

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Harvey Freedenberg on Wendy Lesser's “Why I Read.”

Robert Birnbaum adds an addendum to his best books list.

“Three contrarians with the courage of their convictions,” by Diane Scharper.

Art Taylor interviews Otto Penzler in the LA Review of Books about three new anthologies published in October and November. Taylor recently won the Macavity Award for Best Short Story at Bouchercon, the world mystery convention.

“Second Acts: A Second Look at Second Books of Poetry by Peter Streckfus and Jean Valentine,” by Lisa Russ Spaar

Larry Smith reviews Ron Rash's new collection. He also reviews Gary Snyder's “Nobody Home.”

“What Makes the Russian Literature of the 19th Century So Distinctive?” Francine Prose and Benjamin Moser discuss.

Julia M. Klein reviews Anne Lamott's “Small Victories” for the Boston Globe.

In the Charleston Post and Courier, Bill Thompson reviews John Mark Sibley-Jones' “By the Red Glare.”

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari's latest BBC column: Norman Mailer, Raymond Chandler, Vanessa & Virginia, Saramago's long lost early novel, a story collection from Joshua Harmon, Samantha Schnee's translation of Carmen Boullosa's Texas. 10 Books to Read in December.

For the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Julie Hakim Azzam interviews NoViolet Bulawayo about her debut novel, “We Need New Names.”