Critical Notes

New reviews and more from the National Book Critics Circle

By Carolyn Kellogg

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood's new novel The Testaments continues to sweep across the literary landscape. Megan Labrise interviewed Atwood about The Testaments for Kirkus Reviews. Former board member Colette Bancroft considers The Testaments in her column at the Tampa Bay Times and Constance Grady reviewed The Testaments at Vox.

Nathan Wesbter reviewed Stephen King's The Institute for the Daily Beast. and Clea Simon reviewed The Institute for The Boston Globe. Simon also contributed to the Globe's fall book preview.

Hamilton Cain previewed fall books for O, the Oprah Magazine, reviewed Binyamin Appelbaum's The Economists' Hour for the Barnes & Noble Review and reviewed Etgar Keret's Fly Anyway for Chapter 16

Julia M. Klein reviewed Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey's She Said for the Forward, and also the Forward she reviewed Edward Berenson's The Accusation. She also talked to Leslie Morgan about her memoir The Naked Truth for the Pennsylvania Gazette.

Ben Yagoda reviewed Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire, by Susan Ronald, for the Wall Street Journal.

Chelsea Leu wrote abut Jesse Ball's The Divers' Game, Rob Hart's The Warehouse and Bob Proehl's The Nobody People for the New York Times Book Review and also about Josie Iselin's The Curious World of Seaweed at Bay Nature.

Julia Lichtblau reviewed two books from West Africa's new wave — Julia Wayetu Moore's She Would Be King and Ayesha Atta's The Hundred Wells of Salagafor Commonweal

Zack Graham wrote about Rivka Galchen's first book for young readers, Rat Rule 79, at Epiphany.

Tobias Carroll wrote about psychedelic science fiction and Erik Davis's new book High Weirdness at Polygon; at InsideHook, he interviewed Jonathan Vaughters about his memoir One Way Ticket and wrote about wrote about the new edition of Helen Cromwell's memoir Good Time Party Girl; at, he wrote about David Koepp's novel Cold Storage and Sarah Davis-Goff's Last Ones Left Alive; and at Mystery Tribune, he discussed novels by Jordy Rosenberg and Kathe Koja.

Katharine Coldiron reviewed White Flights by Jess Row for the L.A. Review of BooksSpiritual Choreographies by Carlos Labbé for On the SeawallBloomland by John Englehardt and This Tilting World by Colette Fellous for Book & Film Globe; and As a River by Sion Dayson for the Arts Fuse.

Christine Brunkhorst reviewed the novel This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Joan Gelfand reviewed the poetry collection The Jaguars that Prowl Our Dreams by Mary Mackey for Compulsive Reader.

Allen Adams reviewed two books at The Maine Edge: Stephen King's The Institute and Quichotte by Salman Rushdie.

John Domini reviewed Quichotte then talked to author Salman Rushdie for the Brooklyn Rail.

Erika Dreifus reviewed The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer for Reading Jewish Fiction.

Board member Lori Feathers interviewed Ducks, Newburyport author Lucy Ellmann for Lit Hub

And Andrew Ervin dove deep into fantasy with Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels and The Big Book of Classic Fantasy for Lit Hub.

Also at Lithub, Olga Zilberbourg wrote about a Soviet version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Natalie Bakopoulos talked to Elizabeth Ames about her debut novel The Other's Gold at Fiction Writers Review.

Lanie Tankard reviewed Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia for The Woven Tale Press.

Constance Grady considered the cult of Sally Rooney at Vox

Peggy Kurkowski reviewed The Borgias by Paul Strathern at Open Letters Review.

Eric Nguyen reviewed Blood Sisters by Kim Yideum, translated by Jiyoon Lee for Spectrum Culture and also reviewed Human Matter by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, translated by Eduardo Aparicio, for Necessary Fiction.

Member news:

Daniel Mendelsohn was interviewed by Michael Tackens at Poets & Writers about his essay collection Ecstasy and Terror, coming from NY Review Books in October. 

Tim Riley co-authored the first textbook on the music of the Beatles, What Goes On — the Beatles Their Music in Their Time, with Walter Everett (Oxford University Press). 

Robert Birnbaum wrote on his blog, Our Man in Boston, about Norman Locke's American Novels series and the book Order of Imagination: The Photographs of Olivia Parker.

On her blog, Madam Mayo, C.M. Mayo published interviews with Eric Barnes about his novel Above the Ether and with Diana Anhalt about her poetry collection, Walking Backward. Mayo's short story “What Happened to the Dog?” was included in Richard Polt's anthology Escapements: Typewritten Stories from Post-Digital Worlds and her translation of Mexican writer Rose Mary Salum's short story “The Aunt” appears in the Fall issue of Catamaran Literary Reader (PDF).

Terese Svoboda's biography of poet Lola Ridge, Anything That Burns You, was featured on Irish Radio.

Hélène Cardona's translation Birnam Wood won a Readers' Favorite Award in poetry.

Margaret Atwood's new novel is The Testaments. Photo by Liam Sharp.

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