Critical Notes

Spring Titles, Memoirs, and a Poet-in-Residence

By Taylor Anhalt

***  The NBCC awards finalists will read on Wednesday, March 14, at 6:30 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 6:30 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.)  ***

*** In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15, 2018 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. This week, NBCC board member Michael Schaub offers an appreciation of biography finalist William Taubman's Gorbachev: His Life and Times,” John McWhorter praises Adam Rutherford’s “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived,” Elizabeth Taylor applauds “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder” by Caroline Fraser and “The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America” by Frances FitzGerald, Kate Tuttle offers an appreciation of biography finalist Edmund Gordon’s “The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography,” and more. ***

*** Applications for NBCC Emerging Critics are now open. ***

***  The NBCC will be at AWP! On Friday, March 9, 2018 in Tampa at AWP, three National Book Critics Circle–honored novelists, Jeffrey Eugenides, Lorrie Moore, and Dana Spiotta, will read from their work and talk with NBCC President Kate Tuttle about inspiration, research, awards, evolving forms, the unique challenges of novels and short stories, and the imaginative process that shapes their originality. The event will take place in Ballroom C, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor. ***

Former NBCC board member David Ulin reflected on the masterpiece ‘Women in Their Beds’ by NBCC fiction award winner Gina Berriault for Alta Online.

NBCC board member and Star Tribune senior editor for books Laurie Hertzel reviewed Tara Westover’s ‘Educated’ and Elizabeth Willard Thames’ ‘Meet the Frugalwoods’ for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Lanie Tankard reviewed Malu Halasa’s novel ‘Mother of All Pigs’ in the March issue of World Literature Today.

NBCC member Grace Lichtenstein previewed 10 key spring titles for

Alison Buckholtz reviewed Molly McCloskey’s ‘Straying’ for the Florida Times-Union.

Regina Marler reviewed Whitney Chadwick’s ‘Farewell to the Muse’ and several books by Leonora Carrington in the March 8th issue of the New York Review of Books.

Ellen Akins reviewed ‘Mrs.’ By Caitlin Macy for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

NBCC member Frank Freeman reviewed ‘Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis’ by Liesl Olson for University Bookman.

Christine Brunkhorst reviewed ‘What Are We Doing Here?’ by Marilynne Robinson for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Maureen Corrigan reviewed Matt Young’s memoir ‘Eat the Apple’ for the podcast KGOU.

Gerald Bartell reviewed ‘Draft No. 4’ by John McPhee for SFGate.

Cynthia Haven reviewed Ismail Kadare’s ‘A Girl in Exile’ for the New York Times Book Review, Adam Zagajewski’s ‘Slight Exaggeration’ for Weekly Standard, and Tomas Venclova’s ‘Magnetic North’ for The Times Literary Supplement.

Board member Tom Beer featured three new books for Newsday.

Heller McAlpin reviewed John Banville’s ‘Time Pieces’ for New Orleans Public Radio.

Michael Magras reviewed ‘Chicago’ by David Mamet for the Houston Chronicle and ‘Wrestling With the Devil’ by Ngugi wa Thiong’o for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviewed ‘Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress’ by Steven Pinker for The Christian Science Monitor.

Carol Iaciofano reviewed Don Eyles’ ‘Sunburst and Luminary: An Apollo Memoir’ for WBUR.

Jenny Bhatt reviewed Rolf Potts’ ‘Souvenir (Object Lessons)’ for PopMatters.

Dana Wilde reviewed ‘Dawn Chorus: New and Selected Poems 1972-2017’ by William Hathaway in the Off Radar column on Maine Books for the newspaper.

Kirsche Romo reviewed Kaethe Schwehn’s ‘The Rending and the Nest’ for Washington Independent Review of Books.

Jim Carmin reviewed Laura Thompson’s ‘Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life’ for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Board member Lori Feathers reviewed Tea Tulić’s ‘Hair Everywhere’ for the March issue of World Literature Today.

Past board member Carolyn Kellogg featured new, upcoming books and bestsellers for the Los Angeles Times.


Member News

On March 16th, David Biespiel will be doing a reading and a book signing upon his celebration of being named Oregon State University’s Poet-in-Residence.

Cynthia Haven, an NBCC member, has a book coming out in April, ‘Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard’. It has been reviewed by kirkusreviews, and was excerpted on Quarterly Conversation and