Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

Photo of Big Story in Bend, Ore., by Sara Thompson via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Members and friends, we hope that all of you affected by last week’s winter storms are doing better and staying safe and warm—we’re keeping you in our thoughts. 

In this week’s edition of Critical Notes, our members have reviews of books by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Vendela Vida, Laird Hunt, Patricia Lockwood, and more, and interviews with writers like Khaled Mattawa, Dan Rather, Sari Rosenblatt, and Karla Kelsey. We hope everyone’s doing as well as can be, and as always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

NBCC lifetime member Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about four young adult crossover novels for The New York Times Book Review.

Emilia Phillips reviewed new poetry collections by Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, and Joyce Carol Oates for The New York Times Book Review.

Kathleen Rooney reviewed Liz Heinecke’s Radiant: The Dancer, the Scientist, and a Friendship Forged in Light for the Star Tribune.

Former NBCC board member Mary Ann Gwinn reviewed Vendela Vida’s We Run the Tides for the Los Angeles Times.

Michelle Newby Lancaster reviewed Lynda Rutledge’s West with Giraffes for Lone Star Literary Life.

V. Joshua Adams reviewed Jennifer L. Knox’s Crushing It for On The Seawall.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Noreena Hertz’s The Lonely Century for The Boston Globe.

Joan Silverman reviewed Susan Conley’s Landslide for the Portland Press Herald and Philippe Sands’ The Ratline for the Forward.

Eric Liebetrau wrote about books that address the contemporary Black experience in America for Kirkus Reviews.

Former NBCC board member Mark Athitakis reviewed Laird Hunt’s novel Zorrie for On the Seawall.

Meredith Maran wrote about how books get turned into movies and television shows for the Los Angeles Times.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell wrote about the influence of teachers for Fiction Writers Review.

Dana Wilde reviewed Nicholson Baker’s Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act in his Off Radar column for the Central Maine newspapers.

Heller McAlpin reviewed Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This for NPR.

Bridget Quinn reviewed Karl Ove Knausgaard’s essay collection In the Land of the Cyclops, translated by Martin Aitken, for Hyperallergic.

Member Interviews

Ruben Quesada writes a weekly column called Poetry Today, each one featuring two poets, at the Kenyon Review blog. Recent interviews feature Allison Adair, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Khaled Mattawa, Emma Hine, Kazim Ali, and Mark Wunderlich.

Chris Barsanti interviewed Dan Rather about the graphic novel edition of his book What Unites Us for Publishers Weekly.

Martha Anne Toll interviewed Sari Rosenblatt about her short story collection Father Guards the Sheep, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, for Bloom.

Terese Svoboda had a conversation with Karla Kelsey for Anomaly.

Kathleen Rooney interviewed Julia Fine about her book The Upstairs House for Chicago magazine.