Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, we hope you’re having a good May so far! This month, our members have reviews of books by authors like Geoff Dyer, Joan Silber, Hari Ziyad, John Domini, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Rachel Cusk, and more, and interviews with writers including Olivia Laing, Craig Morgan Teicher, and Susan Orlean. Stay safe, and as always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

Christoph Irmscher reviewed Geoff Dyer’s See/Saw: Looking at Photographs for The Wall Street Journal.

Roberto Carlos Garcia wrote about Michèle Stephens documentary Stateless for Huellas Literary Magazine.

Priscilla Gilman reviewed Secrets of Happiness by Joan Silber for The Boston Globe.

Patricia Schultheis wrote about the Plaza Flea Market in Dundalk, Md., for The Baltimore Sun.

At Literary Hub, NBCC board member Lori Feathers wrote about the fiction of Rachel Cusk in the eighth installment of her essay series, In Context.

Kathleen Rooney reviewed Claire Wilcox’s Patch Work for the Women’s Review of Books.

Charles Green reviewed Hari Ziyad’s Black Boy Out of Time for The Gay & Lesbian Review.

NBCC board member Jacob Appel reviewed John Domini’s The Archeology of a Good Ragù for The Brooklyn Rail.

Richard Scott Larson reviewed Michael Koresky’s Films of Endearment: A Mother, A Son and the 80s Films That Defined Us for Slant Magazine.

Fran Hawthorne reviewed David Hirshberg’s Jacobo’s Rainbow and Eleanor Morse’s Margreete’s Harbor for the New York Journal of Books.

Harvey Freedenberg wrote about three baseball novels to read at the start of the season for Shelf Awareness.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Peter Swanson’s Every Vow You Break for Oprah Daily.

Jean Huets reviewed Waterfall by Mary Casanova and This Side of Hell by Brett Cogburn for Historical Novel Society

Chris Barsanti reviewed Niall Ferguson’s Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe for PopMatters.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s The Passenger, translated by Philip Boehm, for the Forward.

Joseph Peschel reviewed Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water and Rachel Cusk’s Second Place for The Brooklyn Rail.

NBCC Vice President/Online and Biography Chair Michael Schaub reviewed Sara Davis’ The Scapegoat for Alta.

Member Interviews

Former NBCC President Tom Beer spoke with former NBCC criticism finalist Olivia Laing about her latest book, Everybody: A Book About Freedom, for Kirkus Reviews.

John Domini interviewed Robert L. Shuster, the winner of the AWP Award for the Novel for his debut, To Zenzi, for The Rumpus.

NBCC board member Lori Feathers and Sam Jordison talked to Caleb Azumah Nelson about his terrific novel Open Water for their podcast, Across the Pond.

Elizabeth Lund interviewed Craig Morgan Teicher for The Christian Science Monitor.

Harvey Freedenberg interviewed Susan Orlean for TheBurg.

Julia M. Klein interviewed Julia Sweig about her biography, Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight, for Johns Hopkins Magazine, and interviewed Jean Hanff Korelitz about her novel The Plot for the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.

Member News, Etc.

NBCC Vice President/Secretary Colette Bancroft will be in conversation with Maggie O’Farrell, author of the NBCC Award-winning Hamnet, on Sunday, June 13, at 1:00 pm Eastern. You can register for this free event here.

Roberto Carlos Garcia’s third poetry collection, [Elegies], was published by FlowerSong Press in December. The book was reviewed at The Adroit Journal, the Latino Book Review, RHINO Poetry, The Latinx Project, and the Michigan Quarterly Review. Roberto was interviewed about his book at The Rumpus, the Kenyon Review, Digging Through, The Boiler, and The Missouri Review, and one of his poems appeared at The Best American Poetry website.

John Domini has published a memoir, The Archeology of a Good Ragù: Discovering Naples, My Father, & Myself. The publisher is Guernica World Editions, and blurbs came from Laura Van den Berg, Bob Shacochis, and others. In Brevity magazine, he has a short essay on how he came to write the memoir.

Partner News

NBCC publication member Rain Taxi is hosting a virtual event with Chris Bohjalian, author of the new Hour of the Witch, in conversation with Minnesota Book Award winner Sheila O’Connor, on Monday, May 10, at 5:30 pm Central. You can register for this free event here.

Photo of Starfield Library in Seoul by Patrick Vierthaler via Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0.