Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, we hope you’re having a great spring! Over the past week, our members have been busy writing reviews of books by authors like Marisa Silver, Chris Bohjalian, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, M. Leona Godin, and more, and interviewing writers including Kaitlyn Greenidge, Anjali Enjeti, and Joan Silber. Stay safe, and as always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

Christoph Irmscher reviewed Philip Hoare’s Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World for The Wall Street Journal.

Barbara J. King reviewed Evolution Gone Wrong: The Curious Reasons Why Our Bodies Work (or Don’t) by Alex Bezzerides for NPR.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship Heather Scott Partington reviewed Marisa Silver’s The Mysteries for Alta.

Sarah D’Stair reviewed Jessica Q. Stark’s Savage Pageant for The Los Angeles Review.

Hamilton Cain reviewed M. Leona Godin’s There Plant Eyes for The Wall Street Journal and Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet for Chapter 16.

Clea Simon reviewed Chris Bohjalian’s Hour of the Witch for The Boston Globe.

Former NBCC Vice President/Awards Janice Harayda reviewed Featherhood and four classic books about misbehaved but well-loved pets on Medium.

Carlos Lozada, a winner of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing and the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, reviewed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Notes on Grief for The Washington Post.

Barbara Basbanes Richter reviewed Renato! by Eugene Mirabelli for Literary Features Syndicate, and previewed an exhibition of Miles Hyman’s artwork and his homage to his grandmother, “The Lottery” author Shirley Jackson, for Fine Books & Collections Magazine online.

Dana Wilde reviewed Marcia Butler’s novel Oslo, Maine in his Off Radar column for the Central Maine newspapers.

Michael Sandlin reviewed Glenn Frankel’s Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic for Cineaste magazine.

NBCC Vice President/Online and Biography Chair Michael Schaub reviewed Sebastian Junger’s Freedom for NPR.

Member Interviews

Former NBCC board member Mary Ann Gwinn interviewed Daniel James Brown, author of the new Facing the Mountain, for The Seattle Times.

Former NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg interviewed three authors for Shondaland: Kaitlyn Greenidge about her novel Libertie, Gabriela Garcia about her novel Of Women and Salt, and former NBCC board member Anjali Enjeti about her two spring books, the essay collection Southland and the novel The Parted Earth.

Meredith Maran interviewed Marisa Silver for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

For her Literary Hub interview column, NBCC Vice President/Events and Fiction Chair Jane Ciabattari caught up with Joan Silber, whose novel Improvement won the National Book Critics Circle’s fiction award. Her new novel, Secrets of Happiness, continues in the vein of Improvement, as Silber burrows into each character’s awareness, splicing perceptions into a reader’s own stream of consciousness in an uncanny way. “Reading Secrets of Happiness means getting to know a cast of characters whose lives intertwine in ways even they don’t know at the beginning of the book. After a year of near-solitude, it’s a refreshing, illuminating adventure.”

Martha Anne Toll interviewed Marc Bookman for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Member News, Etc.

Roberto Carlos Garcia was interviewed by Charlie Rossiter on the Poetry Spoken Here podcast.

Partner News

NBCC publication member Rain Taxi is hosting a virtual event with poet Adrian Matejka, along with Kevin Neireiter and Nicholas Galanin, on Wednesday, May 26, at 5:30 pm Central. You can register for this free event here.

Photo of Walther König Bookstore in Cologne, Germany, by elisavhout via Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.