Critical Notes

New reviews and more from NBCC members

By Michael Schaub

Dear friends, he NBCC is co-sponsoring a virtual event with the Montana Book Festival this Thursday, Sept. 16, at 1:00 pm Mountain, with Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, NBCC John Leonard Award winner Kirstin Valdez Quade, and Kristiana Kahakauwila, about how the history (read: violence) of the American West is mined in order to write contemporary literature toward and about the region today. NBCC board member and poet Keetje Kuipers will moderate. You can register for this event here.

Member Reviews/Essays

Sarah Ladipo Manyika wrote about what Toni Morrison’s house smelled like for Bon Appétit.

Marian Perales reviewed Elizabeth Ferrer’s Latinx Photography in the United States in the September/October print edition of Women’s Review of Books.

Jennifer Howard wrote a review/essay about John T. Thompson’s Book Wars: The Digital Revolution in Publishing for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson reviewed Patrick Nathan’s Image Control for Hyperallergic.

Hannah Joyner reviewed The Annotated Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf with notes by Merve Emre for On the Seawall.  She also wrote a joint piece on Pauina Bren’s The Barbizon and Julia Cooke’s Come Fly the World for the print edition of The Women’s Review of Books.

Erika Dreifus reviewed Dara Horn’s People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present for Moment magazine.

Cory Oldweiler reviewed Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night, translated by Philip Roughton, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Jenny Shank reviewed Kirstin Valdez Quade’s The Five Wounds for America. The novel is the new selection for America’s Catholic book club.

Carlos Lozada, a winner of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing and the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, reviewed Farah Jasmine Griffin’s Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature for The Washington Post.

Oline H. Cogdill reviewed The Irish Hostage by Charles Todd and Down Range by Taylor Moore, and When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash and Hold Me Down by Clea Simon for the Sun Sentinel. She also reviewed The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert and The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones for Shelf Awareness.

Wayne Catan reviewed Brian Evenson’s The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell for On The Seawall. 

Michael Sims reviewed Robert McCrum’s Shakespearean for The Washington Post.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Mary Adkins’ Palm Beach and Gill Paul’s The Collector’s Daughter for BookTrib.

For Kirkus Reviews, former NBCC President Tom Beer considers the influence of Virginia Woolf on Jo Hamya’s Three Rooms and Deborah Levy’s Real Estate.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Clea Simon reviewed Hilma Wolitzer’s short story collection Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket for The Boston Globe.

Martha Anne Toll reviewed Atticus Lish’s The War for Gloria for NPR, and wrote a personal essay on mental clutter at the Lilith blog.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Roxane van Iperen’s The Sisters of Auschwitz, translated by Joni Zwart, for the Forward.

Lisa Russ Spaar reviewed Ye Chun’s Hao for On the Seawall.

Fran Hawthorne reviewed Jai Chakrabarti’s A Play for the End of the World and Aleksander Tišma’s Kapo, translated by David Rieff, for the New York Journal of Books.

Chris Barsanti reviewed Craig Whitlock and The Washington Post’s The Afghanistan Papers for PopMatters.

NBCC Vice President/Online Michael Schaub reviewed Ye Chun’s Hao for NPR.

Member Interviews

NBCC board member Adam Dalva interviewed Karl Ove Knausgaard for The Millions.

Parul Kapur Hinzen interviewed Vinod Busjeet about his debut novel, Silent Winds, Dry Seas, a coming-of-age story set against the dark colonial history of Mauritius, for The Paris Review.

Erik Gleibermann interviewed Deesha Philyaw about The Secret Lives of Church Ladies for Ploughshares.

On the latest episode of their podcast Across the Pond, NBCC board member Lori Feathers and co-host Sam Jordison talk to author James Clammer about his amazing debut novel, Insignificance.

Daneet Steffens interviewed Lisa Jewell for CrimeReads and Nancy Springer for Kirkus Reviews.

Elaine Szewczyk profiled crime writer Michael Connelly for Publishers Weekly.

Mary Mackey interviewed Indigo Moor about his new collection of poetry, Everybody ‘s Jonesin’ for Something, in the September issue of Synchronized Chaos magazine.

Oline H. Cogdill interviewed Lucy Burdette and Jenn McKinlay about culinary mysteries for Murder on the Beach in Delray Beach, Fla.

Member News, Etc.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika will host several conversations with authors in the coming weeks, including Rémy Ngamije on Sept. 18, Wole Soyinka on Sept. 30, Bernardine Evaristo on Oct. 8, and Emma Dabiri and Minni Salami on Oct. 10.

Partner News

Our friends at Rain Taxi are sponsoring some events for this year’s Twin Cities Book Festival, including a conversation between Mary Roach and Erik Larson on Sept. 16 at 5:30 pm Central, and a conversation between Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström and Deesha Philyaw on Sept. 20 at 5:30 pm Central.

Our friends at The Whiting Foundation announced the winners of the fourth annual Literary Magazine Prizes. The call for applications for the 2022 cycle of the Literary Magazine Prizes has also just opened on the Foundation’s website, with a deadline of Wednesday, December 1. 

Photo by BPCorrea via Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0.

SEND US YOUR STUFF: NBCC members: Send us your stuff! Your work may be highlighted in this roundup; please send links to new reviews, features and other literary pieces, or tell us about awards, honors or new and forthcoming books, by dropping a line to Be sure to include the link to your work.