Critical Notes

New from NBCC critics: Elizabeth Gilbert, Nicole Dennis-Benn and lots more

By Carolyn Kellogg

The latest interviews, reviews and more from our members.

Kristen Evans talked to Elizabeth Gilbert about her new novel City of Girls for Buzzfeed.

Terese Svoboda reviewed Last Day by Domenica Ruta for the NY Times Book Review.

Barbara J. King reviewed Giants of the Monsoon Forest by Jacob Shell for NPR.

Lisa Russ Sparr reviewed three poetry collections at VQR: Sight Lines by Arthur Sze, Honeyfish by Lauren K. Alleyne and Anagnorisis by Kyle Dargan.

Jenny Shank reviewed Nicole Dennis-Benn's Patsy for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson reviewed Franco Moretti's Far Country for Barnes & Noble Review and Ryan Chapman's novel Riots I Have Known for Book & Film Globe.

Lanie Tankard reviewed Christian Kiefer's novel Phantoms for Woven Tale Press.

Nathan Webster reviewed Ryan Leigh Dostie's military memoir Formation for The Daily Beast.

Michelle Newby Lancaster reviewed the novel Cabañuelas by Norma Elia Cantú at Lone Star Literary Life.

Sarah McCraw Crow reviewed the novel Light from Other Stars by Erika Swyler at Bookpage.

George de Stefano reviewed Which Side Are You On? by James Sullivan for Popmatters

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviewed Casey Cep's Furious Hours for Popmatters.

John Domini reviewed David Shields' The Trouble With Men for the Brooklyn Rail.

Chelsea Leu reviewed Elizabeth Rush's Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore for Bay Nature.

Tobias Carroll talked to Kristen Arnett about her novel Mostly Dead Things at Longreads, about translating prose to comics at LitHub and, for, reviewed Longer by Michael Blumlein and Brian Evenson's new short story collection Song for the Unraveling World.

Zach Graham reviewed Evenson's Song for the Unraveling World for Epiphany.

Jake Klein reviewed Karen Russell's new short story collection Orange World in The Atlantic.

NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg reviewed The Besieged City by Clarice Lispector for the Los Angeles Times.

Other news

Following a stroke four years ago that felled him for a long stretch, Steve Weinberg–three-term NBCC board member and newsletter editor–cut way back on his freelance reviewing. Currently, he reviews nonfiction books almost every week for Kirkus, edited by Eric Liebetrau, Laurie Muchnick and Tom Beer, all former NBCC board members. Because Kirkus maintains its policy of unbylined reviews, Weinberg cannot send a link to any specific review without revealing his identity.

And member Julie Wittes Shlack recieved a starred review at Kirkus for her memoir This-All-At-Onceness (not, as far as we know, from Steve).

Longtime NBCC member John Domini has just published a novel, The Color Inside a Melon, with Dzanc Books. It is reviewed this week in the Washington Post by NBCC board member Mark Athitakis. 


NBCC members: Send us your stuff! Your work may be highlighted in this roundup; please send links to new reviews, features and other literary pieces, or tell us about awards, honors or new and forthcoming books, by dropping a line to


Photo of Elizabeth Gilbert and her novel City of Girls via Gilbert on Twitter @GilbertLiz.