Critical Notes

Sarah Vowell, Nabokov, Oliver Sacks, Jean-Phillipe Blondel, and more

By Amelie Walker-Yung

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari at Lit Hub: Phil Klay's John Leonard award winning collection picks up another award, Mary Gaitskill, Kevin Barry, Nabokov's letters to Vera and Anna Bikont's searing investigation of a 1941 massacre of Polish Jews.

Nathaniel Popkin reviews Jean-Philippe Blondel’s 6:41 to Paris (translated by Alison Anderson) for The Millions. Joseph Peschel reviewed the same book for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Julia M. Klein reviews Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat United States and Amos Kamil and Sean Elder’s Great is the Truth for the Chicago Tribune. She reviews Isabel Allende’s The Japanese Lover for The Boston Globe.

David Nilsen reviews Stay: Prose Poems by Kathleen McGookey for Fourth & Sycamore.

Michael Magras reviews John Irving’s Avenue of Mysteries for the Chicago Tribune.

NBCC Board member and 2013 Balakian winner Katherine A. Powers picks five of the best audio books of 2015 for the Washington Post and considers six novels by Barbara Comyns for the Barnes & Noble Review.

George de Stefano reviews Lillian Faderman’s The Gay Revolution for Pop Matters.

Dominic Green reviews Roberto Calasso’s Ardor in the Weekly Standard, and also Jonathan Harris’s Lost World of Byzantium, Martin Wall’s The Anglo-Saxon Age, and Robin Derricourt’s Antiquity Imagined in Minerva.

Joan Gelfand reviews Katherine Hastings Nighthawks for

John Domini reviews Mark Wisniewski’s Watch Me Go for The Kenyon Review.

Michael Berry reviews Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Crimson Shore and John Irving’s Avenue of Mysteries for the Portland Press Herald.

Colette Bancroft reviews Gratitude by Oliver Sacks for Tampa Bay Times.

Mike Fischer reviews The Mare by Mary Gaitskill for the Journal Sentinel.

Lois Lowry, two-time Newbery Medal winner, speaks with NBCC member Julie Hakim Azzam about The Giver, dystopian fiction, and writing for children.

Oronte Churm reviews Stanley Crawford’s Log of the SS the Mrs. Unguentine for Inside Higher Ed.

NBCC Balakian winner Alexandra Schwartz covers the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris for The New Yorker.

Multiple NBCC award finalist Aleksandar Hemon is writer in residence at Chicago’s Columbia College.

Fred Volkmer reviews The Anger Meridian by Kaylie Jones and Tales of Accidential Genius by Simon Van Booy for Southampton Press and 27 East.

Cynthia-Marie Marmo O’Brien reviews Twelve Women in a Country Called America for The Literary Review.

Steven G. Kellman reviews Letters to Véra by Vladimir Nabokov for the San Francisco Chronicle.