Critical Notes

Jon Krakauer, Elif Shafak, Ron Padgett, Jillian Lauren, Aleksandar Hemon, and more

By Eric Liebetrau

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Kerri Arsenault writes about Edwidge Danticat, Luc Sante, Michael Ondaatje, and others.

“Why Whole Foods Is Popping Up In Novels,” by Adam Kirsch.

Clifford Garstang reviews “What is Visible” by Kimberly Elkins.

Julie Hakim Azzam reviews Elif Shafak's novel “The Architect's Apprentice” for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Howard Lovy reviews “The Marion Experiment: Long-Term Solitary Confinement and the Supermax Movement.”

At, Megan Labrise interviews investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook (“Tomatoland,” 2011). His latest is “Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat.”

Margot Mifflin reviews “Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of the New Yorker,” by Thomas Kunkel.

“Brief Inner Happiness”: NBCC board member David Biespiel's latest Poetry Wire.

Anne Payne reviews “Missoula” by Jon Krakauer.

Gregory Wilkin reviews Joel Samuel Stames' “Red Dirt.”

“Rats Build Their Labyrinth: Oulipo in the 21st Century,” by Michael Leong.

Laverne Frith reviews “Alone and Not Alone” by Ron Padgett.

“Mark Rothko's tortured, brilliant life explored in new biography,” by Angie Jabine.

John Domini reviews Andrew Ervin's “Burning Down George Orwell's House.” Domini also reviews Amelia Gray's “Gutshot.”

Robert Birnbaum interviews Philip Kerr.

Marian Ryan reviews Sara Bladel's Danish thriller “The Lost Girls.”

Michelle Huneven’s “Off Course,” reviewed by Lori Feathers.

Michelle Newby reviews Merritt Tierce's “Love Me Back,” as well as James Hannaham’s Delicious Foods.

Piali Roy reviews “Discontent and Its Civilizations” by Mohsin Hamid. Roy also reviews “Nothing Like Love” by Sabrina Ramnanan. In addition, Roy reviews Chigozie Obioma’s debut novel, “The Fishermen.”

Second Acts: A Second Look at Second Books of Poetry by Rae Armantrout and Ye Chun,” by Lisa Russ Spaar.

Michael Magras reviews Ken Kalfus' latest.

Daniel Dyer on Zachary Leader's impeccably researched first volume of “The Life of Saul Bellow.”

Through two recent films, Daniel Mendelsohn examines how our robot fantasies derive from Homer.

Meredith Maran reviews Jillian Lauren's “Everything You Ever Wanted.”

Karl Wolff reviews “History of Joseph Smith by His Mother,” by Lucy Mack Smith.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews Aleksandar Hemon's novel “The Making of Zombie Wars.”

“'Re Jane' cleverly recasts Jane Eyre as a Korean American from Queens,” by Terry Hong.

NBCC Board member and 2013 Balakian winner Katherine A. Powers reviews “The Fishermen” by Chigozie Obioma. Powers also reviews Kate Atkinson's “A God in Ruins.”