Critical Notes

John Irving, Richard Dawkins, Hanya Yanagihara, Ron Rash, Mary-Louise Parker…

By Eric Liebetrau

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“Ethan Hawke: Actor, novelist — spiritual guide?” Michael Lindgren on the actor's new book.

Daniel Mendelsohn reviews Hanya Yanagihara “A Little Life” in the New York Review of Books.

Jim Carmin reviews “Pure Act: the uncommon life of Robert Lax,” by Michael McGregor in the Oregonian. Carmin also reviews “The Mark and the Void,” by Paul Murray in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Lori Feathers reviews Vladimir Sharov’s “Before and During” for Rain Taxi.

Joe Peschel reviews John Irving's “Avenue of Mysteries.”

Marion Winik also evaluates Irving's latest book, and she reviews a memoir from Mary-Louise Parker.

Micah McCrary interviews Sven Birkerts.

Gerald Bartell reviews “Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years,” by Thomas Mallon.

“Richard Dawkins: Big brain, big ego, big insights.” John Strawn on the second volume of Dawkins' memoir.

Carol Iaciofano reviews Rick Moody's novel “Hotels of North America.”

Howard Lovy reviews “Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World,” by Baz Dreisinger.

Former NBCC board member Steven G. Kellman reviews Karen Olsson's second novel.

Anne Payne reviews Ron Rash’s “Above the Waterfall.”

Renee K. Nicholson reviews Ann Pancake’s “Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley” and Bonnie Jo Campbell’s “Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.”

Connie Post's “Floodwater,” reviewed in Calyx.

Julie Hakim Azzam interviews Newbery-winning children’s author Cece Bell about her graphic novel, “El Deafo,” for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Dominic Green reviews Valerie Lester’s “Bodoni: His Life and World” for Standpoint. Green also reviews Robert Macfarlane’s nature writing and Julian Barnes’ art criticism for the New Criterion, as well as Nicholas Stargardt’s “The German War” for the Spectator. Green interviews Steve Toltz, author of “Quicksand.”

Karl Wolff reviews Sick Pack, by MP Johnson, a novel from the bizarro genre about a man’s abdominal muscles going AWOL. At the New York Journal of Books, Wolff reviews “Of Earth and in Hell,” by Thomas Bernhard, the Austrian author’s first published book of poetry from 1957.

Jenny Yacovissi reviews Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s latest novel, “The Big Green Tent,” translated by Polly Gannon, for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Carl Rollyson reviews “Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal,” by Jay Parini.

Ellen Akins reviews “Golden Age,” the 3rd volume of Jane Smiley's Last Hundred Years trilogy for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.