Critical Notes

New Reviews and More from NBCC Members

By David Varno

A wall of books in orderly shelves, with a small writing desk in front

Greetings, NBCC Friends!!
Happy May!! As always, our members have been busy. Below you’ll find reviews of novels by Hernan Diaz, Adriana Trigiani, and Zachary Lazar; new non-fiction from David de Jong, Betsy Prioleau, and Jacob Mchangama; a celebration of twelve 2022 verse collections; interviews with Sean Singer, Rachel Krantz, and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma; plus so much more.
Additionally, we remind you that applications for our 2022-23 Emerging Critics Fellowship are open on Submittable through Friday, May 6 at 11:59 Pacific. The fellowship aims to identify, nurture, and support the next generation of book critics from diverse backgrounds. We recently held a Q&A about the process; slides from the presentation as well as a recording of the session with ASL interpretation are available. NBCC VP/Emerging Critics Heather Scott Partington is also happy to answer questions by email. Please share this info widely; we really appreciate your help in spreading the word.
Thanks and have a great week!!
Member Reviews/Essays
NBCC board member Joanna Scutts reviewed Diamonds and Deadlines: A Tale of Greed, Deceit, and a Female Tycoon in the Gilded Age by Betsy Prioleau for The New York Times Book Review.
To celebrate National Poetry Month, NBCC board member Mandana Chaffa wrote about a dozen of this year’s new verse collections for the Chicago Review of Books.
Katrina Gulliver reviewed Jacob Mchangama’s Free Speech: A History From Socrates to Social Media in the May issue of Reason.
Jeremy Lybarger reviewed Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black by Cookie Mueller for The Baffler.
Abby Walthausen reviewed Jean Giono’s Ennemonde, translated from the French by Bill Johnston, for Asymptote, as well as Hanne Ørstavik’s The Pastor, translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aikten, for The Rupture.
Dean Rader recruited Jennifer Chang to join him for a review-in-dialogue of Victoria Chang’s The Trees Witness Everything in his “Two Roads” column for the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Linda Hitchcock reviewed Adriana Trigiani’s The Good Left Undone for Booktrib.
Julia M. Klein reviewed David de Jong’s Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties for the Forward.
Judith Reveal reviewed Davin Goodwin’s Paradise CoveDavid Rosenfelt’s Citizen K-9; and Phillip Margolin’s The Darkest Place, all for the New York Journal of Books.
Cory Oldweiler reviewed Vigil Harbor by Julia Glass for The Boston Globe.
John Domini reviewed the latest novel from Zachary Lazar, The Apartment on Calle Uruguay, for the Los Angeles Times.
Claude Peck reviewed Trust by Hernan Diaz for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Abby McGanney Nolan reviewed Paul Fischer’s The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies for The Washington Post.
Elaine Szewczyk profiled novelist Jamie Ford, whose latest work is The Many Daughters of Afong Moy, for Publishers Weekly.
Balakian winner and former NBCC board member Scott McLemee reviewed In Praise of Good Bookstores by Jeff DeutschA World After Liberalism: Philosophers of the Radical Right by Matthew Rose; and A Philosopher Looks at Digital Communication by Onora O’Neill, all for Inside Higher Ed.
Member Interviews
NBCC board member Rebecca Morgan Frank interviewed Sean Singer about his poetry collection, Today in the Taxi, for Electric Literature.
NBCC VP/Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ruben Quesada interviewed Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma about translating The Kural for the Seattle Town Hall “In the Moment” podcast.
Elizabeth Lund interviewed poet and editor James Crews about his new anthology, The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy, for The Christian Science Monitor.
Amy Reardon interviewed Rachel Krantz, author of Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy, for Hippocampus Magazine.
Theodore Kinni interviewed Rasmus Hougaard about his book Compassionate Leadership for strategy+business.
Member News
Ruben Quesada has edited an anthology that will be published the University of New Mexico Press this fall. Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry can be adopted for courses on Latinx and Latin American literature, cultural studies, and creative writing. It is available for pre-order in hardcover or as an e-book here.
Mary Mackey was interviewed by 34 Circle Salon for a podcast in which she discusses her relationship with Marija Gimbutas, her current work, and her historical novels, which take place in the matriarchal, goddess-centered cultures of Old Europe.
Partner News
This month, our friends at The Center for Fiction are hosting a series of free events to celebrate Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved. The first—which is being held both in person and on Zoom—is happening Tuesday, May 3, at 7 p.m. Eastern. For more information, including how to register, click here. (NBCC fun facts: Morrison won our fiction award in 1977 for Song of Solomon. She received our Sandrof Lifetime Achievement award in 2014. In 2021, we elected to name our new award, for institutions that have made meaningful contributions to book culture, in her honor).
Poetry Shelfie photo by NBCC board member Rebecca Morgan Frank. Used with permission.
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