Critical Notes

Katie Roiphe, Boris Fishman, Helen Oyeyemi, Jhumpa Lahiri, Pagan Kennedy, and 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, and please join us for the finalist readings on Wed., March 16th, and the awards ceremony on Thursday, March 17th.


Michael Lindgren previews the finalists for the NBCC Award for Criticism.

Larry Smith reviews Winterkill by Todd Davis.

During Women's History Month, Erika Dreifus anticipates forthcoming fiction by American Jewish women writers.

Steven Kellman reviews Boris Fishman's “Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo.”

Heller McAlpin also reviews Fishman's book, as well as Katie Roiphe's “The Violet Hour.”

Joe Peschel reviews “Sweetgirl,” by Travis Mulhauser. Peschel also reviews Idra Novey's “Ways to Disappear.”

“A bomb campaign routs regular lives.” Michael Magras on Jonathan Lee's “High Dive.”

Five Books Making News This Week, from NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari.

Gerald Bartell reviews Chris Pavone's “The Travelers.”

At Bookslut, Lori Feathers reviews Jakob Wassermann’s “My Marriage.”

David Cooper reviews “A Room” by Youval Shimoni.

Elaine Tankard reviews criticism award finalist “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Julie Hakim Azzam reviews Jhumpa Lahiri’s “In Other Words.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Anita Felicelli reviews Nayomi Munaweera's “What Lies Between Us,” as well as Idra Novey's “Ways to Disappear.”

Karl Wolff reviews “Pagan Kennedy’s Living: A Guidebook for Maturing Hipsters,” by Pagan Kennedy, a reprint of the 1997 classic by the Queen of ‘Zines.

Adam Morgan and colleagues have launched the Chicago Review of Books.

George de Stefano reviews “Fire and Blood: The European Civil War, 1914-1945.”

From Michael Berry: “Ken Liu’s output is as amazing as his stories.”

Robert Fay reviews George Cotkin's “Feast of Excess” for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Ellen Akins reviews Helen Oyeyemi's “What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours.”

Debra Cash asks, “Should a Feminist Dance Tango?”

Julia M. Klein reviews Victoria Kelly's “Mrs. Houdini” for the Forward.

Jim Ruland reviews Brian Evenson's collection “A Collapse of Horses” in his column for San Diego CityBeat. He also reviews Ricky Jay's latest about a 17th-century showman “Matthias Buchinger: The Greatest German Living” for the Los Angeles Times.