Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

Friends and members, as you may have heard, we’re raising funds for our DEI initiatives by holding our first-ever auction, featuring a wide variety of items and experiences donated by several friends of the NBCC. We’d love for you to help us get the word out! You can find more information about the auction, which kicks off Aug. 20, here. Thanks in advance for your support, and as always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

Farah Abdessamad reviewed Mohamed Kheir’s Slipping, translated by Robin Moger, for The Markaz Review.

Wendeline Wright reviewed Stephen King’s Billy Summersfor the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Michael Sims wrote about how Frederick Douglass found his voice in Massachusetts for The Boston Globe.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship Heather Scott Partington reviewed Hayden Herrera’s Upper Bohemiafor the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Kathleen Rooney reviewed Jaime Cortez’s Gordofor the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

NBCC Vice President/Treasurer Colette Bancroft reviewed James Lee Burke’s Another Kind of Edenfor the Tampa Bay Times.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell wrote about the pleasure of discussing books with her hairdresser for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Rachael Nevins wrote a critical essay on the unusual stream-of-consciousness narrative in Late Summer by Brazilian writer Luiz Ruffato, translated by Julia Sanches, for the Ploughshares blog.

Former NBCC President Tom Beer wrote about literary sequels and “sibling novels” for Kirkus Reviews.

Paul W. Gleason reads Patricia Lockwood’s Nobody Is Talking About Thisas he tries to answer the question: will heaven be boring?

Clea Simon wrote an op-ed for The Boston Globe about the cancellation of this year’s Bouchercon crime fiction convention, which had been scheduled for Aug. 25-29 in New Orleans.

Lanie Tankard reviewed Novel 11, Book 18 by Dag Solstad for The Woven Tale Press.

Cory Oldweiler reviewed Bill François’ Eloquence of the Sardinefor The Boston Globe.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Katie Kitamura’s Intimaciesfor Oprah Daily and Yoon Choi’s Skinshipfor the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Benjamin Woodard reviewed Subimal Misra’s Wild Animals Prohibitedfor On the Seawall. 

NBCC Vice President/Online Michael Schaub reviewed YZ Chin’s Edge Casefor NPR.

Former NBCC President Laurie Hertzel reviewed Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce and Emily’s House by Amy Belding Brown for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where she is senior editor of books. She wrote her weekly Bookmark column on two Minnesota memoirs, Cabin in the City by John Toren and The House on Brown Street by Robert Lacy.

Wayne Catan reviewed Genevieve Plunkett’s Prepare Her for On The Seawall. 

Jenny Shank reviewed Anna Qu’s Made in Chinafor the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Anthony Domestico reviewed Anthony Veasna So’s Afterpartiesfor The Boston Globe.

Oline H. Cogdill reviewed Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham and For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing for Shelf Awareness, and Runner by Tracy Clark, A Scone of Contention by Lucy Burdette, Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell, and Her Last Breath by Hilary Davidson for the Sun-Sentinel.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Rebecca Donner’s All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days for The Boston Globe.

Member Interviews

Meredith Maran wrote a profile of Deborah Copaken for The Washington Post.

Diane Seuss and Heidi Seaborn discussed their muses for their newest collections and their paths to poetry in The Adroit Journal.

NBCC Emerging Critic Mandana Chaffa interviewed Kaveh Akbar about his new collection Pilgrim Bell for the Chicago Review of Books.

Oline H. Cogdill interviewed Liv Constantine, author of The Stranger in the Mirror, for Left Bank Books in St. Louis.

On their podcast, Across the Pond, NBCC board member Lori Feathers and Sam Jordison talk to Annie McDermott about her translation of Mario Levrero’s The Luminous Novel, the Uruguayan author’s posthumous masterpiece.

NBCC Vice President/Events and Fiction Chair Jane Ciabattari interviewed Sabina Murray on the limits of journalism and the wondrous possibilities of fiction and her sometimes blistering, sometimes sardonic, always enlightening and suspenseful new novel, for Literary Hub.

Member News

Daphne Kalotay’s fiction collection Vertigo and Other Stories won the 2021 Grace Paley Prize, judged by Rebecca Makkai.

Former NBCC board member Kerri Arsenault’s book, Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains, won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Her book was also shortlisted for the New England Independent Booksellers Association award for nonfiction, to be decided in October.

Kelli Russell Agodon was interviewed by Risa Denenberg about her new book, Dialogues with Rising Tides (Copper Canyon Press), for The Rumpus.  

A collection of poems by Martin H. Levinson, Signal Reactions and Other Poems, has just been published by the Institute of General Semantics as part of their Language in Action series. The book has been selected as a finalist for the S.I. Hayakawa Book Prize. Matthew Lippman, an award-winning author of six poetry collections and the 2018 Levis Prize for Poetry calls the poems in this book “both cerebral and deeply tender, the combination of which makes for a voice that is witty, charming, and, even in the darkest moments of despair, filled with light.”      

Hélène Cardona has a poem published in the Spring 2021, XV1 No 1, issue of Pratik Magazine, celebrating Baudelaire 200 Years: Ten Poets celebrate the Birth Anniversary of the French Poet, along with work by Stéphane Mallarmé,  R J Dent, Linda Morales Caballero, Fred Johnston, José Manuel Cardona, Nina Kossman, Peter O’Neill, Yan Kouton, John Fitzgerald, and Daniel Wade.

Heidi Seaborn’s An Insomniac’s Slumber Party With Marilyn Monroe was reviewed by Tyler Truman Julian at The Shoreand by NBCC member Deborah Bacharach at Heavy Feather Review.

Photo by fiatlux via Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.