Critical Notes

News and reviews from the National Book Critics Circle

By Carolyn Kellogg

Welcome to the latest in news and reviews from the National Book Critics Circle.

Heller McAlpin reviewed biographer Deirdre Bair’s Parisian Lives for the Wall Street Journal.

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom was reviewed by Collette Bancroft for the Tampa Bay Times and Danielle A. Jackson for Bookforum.

Chelsea Leu reviewed Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer for the NY Times Book Review.

Tobias Carroll wrote about a trio of recent novels blending science fiction and crime fiction elements for Mystery Tribune and reviewed Alia Trabucco Zerán’s novel The Remainder for the Minneapolis StarTribune.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Annette Hess’s The German House for the Boston Globe and wrote about Jennifer M. Morton and her book, Moving Up Without Losing Your Way for the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Jenny Shank reviewed Maureen Stanton’s Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood for America Magazine.

Jeremy Lybarger reviewed Beautiful Aliens: A Steve Abbott Reader, edited by Jamie Townsend, for 4Columns.

Kathleen Rooney wrote about Walter Benton for the Poetry Foundation.

Jeffrey Mannix reviewed The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen in his Murder Ink column for the Durango Telegraph.

NBCC president Laurie Hertzel reviewed a roundup of books on gardening and home decor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where she is senior editor for books. (The book on elaborate bedrooms is particularly eye-popping.)

Jim Ruland talked to Tommy Pico about the success of There, There for the Los Angeles Times.

Jocelyn McClurg talked to Joseph Kanton about The Accomplice and Michael Crummey about The Innocents for Kirkus.

Eric Nguyen reviewed Bright by Duanwad Pimwana, translated by Mui Poopoksakul, for Spectrum Culture.

Drew Bratcher talked to M. Randal O’Wain about his memoir, Meander Belt: Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working-Class South for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Rob Kaiser-Schatzlein caught us up on his October reviews: The Tyranny of Economists and  How To Break Up Corporate Giants at the New Republic and  The Financialized Family  at The Baffler.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell reviewed Staten Island Stories by Claire Jimenez for the New York Journal of Books.

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed  Adrienne Brodeur’s memoir Wild Game:  My Mother, Her Lover, and Me for the Washington Independent Review of Books.


NBCC Emerging Critic Rochelle Spencer’s book AfroSurrealism: The African Diaspora’s Surrealist Fiction will be published by Routledge on Dec. 20.

Martha Anne Toll published a personal essay in The Lily at the Washington Post and contributed to NPR’s book concierge.

W. Scott Olsen interviewed Paul Moakley, Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME magazine, for

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