Critical Notes

Jhumpa Lahiri, A.O. Scott, Paul Beatty, Alexander Chee, Susan Jacoby & more

By Eric Liebetrau

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Make sure to read the NBCC board members on our 30 finalists for this year's prizes: 30 Books.


“Five Books Making News This Week,” from NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari. For the BBC, Ciabattari provides 9 books to read in March. For NPR, she reviews Paul Goldberg's “The Yid.”

Marthine Satris reviews Jhumpa Lahiri's memoir.

For the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Julie Hakim Azzam interviews Stephan T. Pastis, author of comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” and children’s book series Timmy Failure. Azzam also interviews Jacqueline Woodson, author of the 2014 National Book Award-winning memoir, “Brown Girl Dreaming.” 

At Newsday, Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews “Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran,” by Laura Secor. He also reviews “Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion,” by Susan Jacoby.

Julia M. Klein reviews Rebecca Traister's “All the Single Ladies” for the Chicago Tribune. Klein also reviews Eli Sanders's “While the City Slept” for the Washington Post, as well as Claire Harman's “Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart” for the LA Times. Klein profiles Kermit Roosevelt III, the author of “Allegiance,” for the Pennsylvania Gazette.

Terry Hong reviews Alexander Chee's “The Queen of the Night” in Christian Science Monitor. Hong also reviews Jhumpa Lahiri's memoir.

For the March/April issue of World Literature Today, Lori Feathers reviews Tarjei Vesaas's “The Birds” and Volume I of Alessandro Spina's three-volume “The Confines of the Shadow.”

NBCC board member Colette Bancroft reviews Jim Harrison's latest.

Roxana Robinson reviews Matt Gallagher's “Youngblood.”

“What Literary Discourse Offers in an Age of Extremism,” by Je Banach.

Kerri Arsenault interviews Michael Wiegers, Executive Editor at Copper Canyon Press, for The Literary Hub.

Daniel Mendelsohn reviews A.O. Scott's “Better Living Through Criticism.”

Jon Wiener interviews Scott about his new book.

Judy Krueger reviews Ann Morgan's Beside Myself for Litbreak.

Michael Berry interviews Paul Beatty for the Portland Press-Herald. Berry also reviews ‘All the Birds in the Sky,’ ‘Version Control,’ ‘Interior Darkness.'

Olga Zilberbourg reviews “A General Theory of Oblivion” by José Eduardo Agualusa.

Michael Magras reviews Olga Grushin's “Forty Rooms.”

Bill Williams reviews “Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind Over Body” for the Palm Beach ArtsPaper.

Nathaniel Popkin reviews Homero Aridjis’s “The Child Poet.” Popkin also reviews the theatrical adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s “2666.”