Critical Notes

Michel Houellebecq, Geraldine Brooks, Stacy Schiff, David Mitchell, and more

By Eric Liebetrau

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Michelle Lancaster reviews Kent Nelson's “The Spirit Bird.”

Howard Lovy interviews D. Watkins, author of The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America.

Former NBCC board member Dan Cryer reviews Stacy Schiff's “The Witches.”

Lori Feathers reviews Oleg Woolf’s Bessarabian Stamps for World Literature Today.

At the San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Magras reviews Michel Houellebecq's “Submission.”

Piali Roy reviews Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s “The Golden Son” for The Globe and Mail.

Ellen Akins reviews Mary Gaitskill's “The Mare” for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Carmela Ciuraru shares her October “Newly Released” column for the New York Times.

“Marie Equi: Hero of Portland’s radical past,” by Angie Jabine.

Julia M. Klein reviews Geraldine Brooks' “The Secret Chord” for the Forward, where she is now contributing book editor. Klein also reviews James Kaplan's “Sinatra” and John Brady's “Frank and Ava” for the Boston Globe.

Karl Wolff continues his American Odd essay series at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography with his essay on “Conspiranoia!: the Mother of All Conspiracies,” by Devon Jackson.

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari's Between the Lines column for BBC Culture.

Mike Broida reviews Anne Beattie's “The State We're In.”

Clea Simon reviews “Slade House,” the latest from David Mitchell.