Critical Notes

Summer heats up with hot new memoirs from Sherman Alexie, David Sedaris, and more

By Anjali Enjeti


NBCC President Kate Tuttle interviewed Ben Mezrich, the author of “Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures,” and reviewed Margot Livesey’s “The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing,” for the Boston Globe.

VP/Online Jane Ciabattari's Lit Hub column features reviews by former NBCC board members Laura Miller and Lev Grossman, Balakian winner Carlos Lozada, an interview with Sherman Alexie by former board member Mary Ann Gwinn. At the BBC, she features the best beach reads for 2017

NBCC Balakian award-winning critic Carlos Lozada reviews Roy L. Brooks's “The Racial Glass Ceiling” for the Washington Post.

NBCC Balakian award-winning critic Michelle Dean reviewed Eve Babitz’s’ “Sex and Rage,” for the Los Angeles TImes.

NBCC Balakian award-winning critic Parul Sehgal reviewed Arundati Roy’s “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,” for The Atlantic.

NBCC award finalist (and former board member) Benjamin Moser wrote about whether grants or professorships help or hurt writers for the New York Times.

NBCC board member Anjali Enjeti was profiled in Khabar magazine, and reviewed Gin Phillips’ “Fierce Kingdom” for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

NBCC board member Katherine A. Powers reviewed the audio books for Tessa Hadley’s “Bad Dreams and Other Stories,” Sigrid Undset’s “Kristin Lavransdatter,” and David Sedaris’ “Diaries,” for the Washington Post.

NBCC board member Laurie Hertzel wrote about how to be a more productive reader for the Star Tribune.

Former NBCC board member Mark Athitakis reviews Brian Platzer’s “Bed-Stuy is Burning,” for the Star Tribune and Joshua Cohen’s “Moving Kings,” for the Los Angeles Times.

Michael Lindgren reviewed “The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography,” with an introduction by Edmund Morris, for The Millions.

Lisa Spaar wrote about Emilia Phillips’ “Groundspeed” and Olga Broumas’ “Soie Sauvage,” for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Colette Bancroft reviewed Mark Bowden's “Hue 1968,” for the Tampa Bay Times.

Joseph Peschel reviewed Curtis Hawkins’ “The Graybar Hotel,” for the Houston Chronicle.

Maureen Corrigan reviewed Nick Laird’s “Modern Gods,” for NPR.

Heller McAlpin reviewed Madeline Blais’ “To the New Owners,” for the Washington Post and Ashley Shelby’s “South Pole Station,” for NPR.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviewed Omar Robert Hamilton’s “The City Always Wins,” in the Los Angeles Times. 

Soniah Kamal reviewed Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,” for Khabar and recently gave a TedX talk about regrets, second chances, and pursuing dreams.

Jennifer Yacovissi reviewed Al Franken’s “Giant of the Senate,” and wrote a column about the quality of seasoned authors’ books for the Washington Independent Review of Books.


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Anjali Enjeti is a freelance critic, essayist and journalist. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Star Tribune, Vice, NPR, NBC, The Guardian, Washington Post, the New York Times, and elsewhere. She lives near Atlanta, teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Reinhardt University, and can be found on Twitter @anjalienjeti. Her current term on the NBCC Board ends in 2020.