Critical Notes

“Winter” is upon us; the literary world loses a giant

By Anjali Enjeti

***  The NBCC awards finalists will read on Wednesday, March 14, at 6 pm at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, New York City, and the awards ceremony will be at the same location on  Thursday, March 15, at 6 pm. Both are free and open to the public. Tickets to the benefit after-party are $75, and may be purchased here. (NBCC members may purchase tickets in advance for $50.)  ***

This week's book news: 

Former NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg pens a tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin.

Joseph Peschel reviewed Ursula K. Le Guin's most recent book, No Time Spare to Spare: Thinking About What Matters for the Houston Chronicle. 

NBCC president Kate Tuttle talks to Morgan Jerkins about her first book, This Will Be My Undoing, and shouldering the burden of community, in the Boston Globe. 

NBCC board member Laurie Hertzel wrote her weekly column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune about books politicians have used to swear the oath of office.

VP/Online Jane Ciabattari's Lit Hub column featured reviews by Marion Winik, Michael Schaub, Ron Charles, Julia M. Klein, Mark Athitakis, Joy Press plus the #NBCCAwards. 

NBCC current board member and past president Tom Beer wrote about this week's new releases for Newsday. 

Board member Mary Ann Gwinn's biography roundup includes two NBCC biography finalists (Hoover and the Kelloggs), plus new bios of Alexander Calder and Max Eastman.

Board member Katherine A. Powers reviewed Joy Moyes' Still Me for Newsday. 

Priscilla Gilman reviewed Ann Hulbert's Off The Charts, for the Boston Globe.

Joan Frank reviewed Ali Smith's Winter for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sarah McCraw Crow reviewed Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard’s Treating People Well and Jeff Biggers’ The Trials of a Scold for BookPage.

Heller McAlpern reviewed Ali Smith’s Winter and Jillian Medoff’s This Could Hurt for NPR, as well as Jamie Quatro’s Fire Sermon for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ron Slate reviewed Lisa Russ Spaar's Orexia for On the Seawall. 

Dani Shapiro, Sue William Silverman, and Lesléa Newman are just a few of the authors featured in the January 2018 Jewish Book Carnival, hosted by Erika Dreifus on the My Machberet blog. 

For Kirkus Reviews, Megan Labrise interviewed debut novelist Naima Coster, author of Halsey Street, children's illustrator Mariana Ruiz Johnson, author of While You Are Sleeping, and historian Catherine Kerrison, author of Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America. For this week's Fully Booked podcast, she interviews Red Clocks author Leni Zumas.

Eric Liebetrau reviewed Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis' The Most Dangerous Man in America for the Boston Globe.  

Robert Birnbaum wrote about the best books of 2017 and three biographies –of Stephen Stills, Joni Mitchell and Lou Reed for “Our Man In Boston.”

David Cooper reviewed Petty Business by Yirmi Pinkus in New York Journal of Books.

Jim Ruland reviewed Stalin's Meteorologist by Olivier Rolin and translated by Ros Schwartz for the Los Angeles Times and Colin Winnette's The Job of the Wasp for San Diego CityBeat.

Jean Huets reviewed Ali Smith’s Autumn and Winter for The Millions.

2018 Nona Balakian finalist Maureen Corrigan reviewed Leila Slimani's The Perfect Nanny for NPR.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Dara Horn's Eternal Life for the Forward.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviewed Ahmed Sadaawi's Frankenstein in Baghdad for the Chicago Tribune. 

George De Stefano reviewed China Mieville’s October for PopMatters.

Yvonne Garrett reviewed Blaris Moor by Medbh McGuckian for Breac: a Digital Journal of Irish Studies.

Michael Magras reviewed Dave Eggers' The Monk of Mokha for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an NBCC fiction awardee (for Americanah) and finalist (for Half of the Yellow Sun) fields an awkward question with grace.


More news about this year's NBCC awards finalists!

Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, a finalist for this year's fiction award, was featured in Pakistan Today. 

Valeria Luiselli's Tell Me How It Ends, a finalist for this year's criticism award, was featured in Remezcla. 

New Delhi Times wrote about all of this year's NBCC finalists

The Times of India featured the two authors of the subcontinent named fiction award finalists, Arundhati Roy and Mohsin Hami. 

Jack E. Davis' The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea, a finalist for nonfiction, was just named one of the ten best books for climate change, environmental science and conservation books by Forbes. 

Other Member News and Publications

Greg Sarris's new book, How a Mountain Was Made, was published in October, but the launch was delayed because that week the wildfires threatened Sonoma Mountain, where the Calvino-esque collection of Coast Miwok and Pomo creation tales is set. The book, excerpted in Lit Hub and reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books by NBCC member Scott Lankford, is one of the first acquired by Heyday after former NBCC board member Steve Wasserman came aboard as publisher.    

Former NBCC board member Stephanie Burt and current board member Daisy Fried read together.





Board member Anjali Enjeti reviews for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and elsewhere.