Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, we’ll be celebrating the winners of the 2019 NBCC Awards, and announcing the finalists for the 2020 NBCC Awards, at a free virtual event on Sunday, January 24, at 7 pm EST. We’d love for you to join us and special guests Katy Waldman, Debra Winger, and Naomi Shihab Nye! Please register for free, and consider making a donation to the NBCC, here. We can’t wait to see you there!

Member Reviews/Essays

Kathleen Rooney reviewed Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s The Freezer Door for the Women’s Review of Books and Bette Howland’s W-3 for the Star Tribune.

Rafael Castillo wrote about how the press helped democracy dodge a bullet for the San Antonio Express-News.

Jenny Bhatt reviewed George Saunders’ A Swim in a Pond in the Rain for The Dallas Morning News.

Carlos Lozada, a winner of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing and the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, reviewed Simon Winchester’s Land for The Washington Post.

Laura Spence-Ash wrote about the connections between Susan Minot’s story “Boston Common at Twilight” and the Childe Hassam painting of the same name at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts for the Ploughshares blog.

Lanie Tankard reviewed Djinn by Tofik Dibi, translated by Nicholaas Barr, for The Woven Tale Press.

Jennifer Howard reviewed Eula Biss’s Having and Being Had for the TLS.

Sheila McClear reviewed Chris Harding Thornton’s debut novel, Pickard County Atlas, for the Star Tribune.

NBCC Vice President/Online Michael Schaub reviewed Kevin Barry’s That Old Country Music for NPR.

In The Boston Globe, John Domini had praise for Homo Irrealis, a set of linked essays by Andre Aciman.

Michael Adam Carroll reviewed Gina Apostol’s The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata for the Ploughshares blog.

Former NBCC board member Mark Athitakis reviewed George Saunders’ A Swim in the Pond in the Rain for the Los Angeles Times.

Rien Fertel reviewed Michael Farris Smith’s Nick for The New Orleans Advocate and wrote an appreciation of John Dufresne’s Louisiana Power & Light for Louisiana’s state culture journal, 64 Parishes.

Patricia Schultheis reviewed Karl Ove Knausgård’s In the Land of the Cyclops for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Melanie Dragger reviewed Aaron Gilbreath’s The Heart of California: Exploring the San Joaquin Valley for The Literary West Review.

Member Interviews

Kerri Arsenault, a former NBCC board member, interviewed David Remnick and Harry Finder of The New Yorker for Orion Magazine.

In NBCC Vice President/Awards & Events Jane Ciabattari‘s Literary Hub column this week, she interviewed Caitlin Horrocks, author of Life Among the Terranauts

Member News, Etc.

Peter Meech‘s Billy (the Kid) was chosen as an editor’s pick in the January issue of Cowboys & Indians.

Hélène Cardona has two new poems in the current issue of Agenda Poetry, Altered Distances Vol. 54, Nos. 1-2, edited by Patricia McCarthy. Hélène also has a poem in, and participated in the launch of, the anthology Days of Clear Light, a tribute volume dedicated to Salmon publisher Jessie Lendennie, celebrating 40 years of Salmon Poetry.

Carlos Lozada was interviewed about his book What Were We Thinking: A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era for the NPR Politics Podcast.