Critical Notes

Reviews and More from NBCC Members

By Jennie Hann


This week brings reviews of big summer novels by Emma Donoghue and Teddy Wayne, and more.

And in case you missed last week’s news, NBCC poetry award winner Ada Limón (The Carrying, 2018) has been named the twenty-fourth Poet Laureate of the United States by the Library of Congress. Congratulations, Ada!!

Member Reviews/Essays

Former NBCC board member and 2004 Balakian Prize winner Scott McLemeereviewed TV Snapshots: An Archive of Everyday Life by Lynn Spigel for Inside Higher Education.

Joan Frankreviewed The Poet’s House by Jean Thompson for The San Francisco Chronicle.

Kathleen Rooney wrote about the new NYRB edition of e.e. cumming’s The Enormous Room for The Times Literary Supplement.

At WiredEdna Bonhomme examined the history of the term Rasse (“race”) in Germany and its implications for how we think about health data. For the London Review of Books, she and other contributors weighed in on the Roe v. Wade decision.

Kai Maristedwrote about Michel Houellebecq’s new novel, Aneantir, and Christian Authier’s Houellebecq politique for World Literature Today. He reviewed the film I’ll Show You Mine, a Provincetown Film Festival selection, for TheArts Fuse, and his essay “How I Learned to Black and White” was published in Five Points.

Bill Thompsonreviewed The Playbook: How to Deny Science, Sell Lies, and Making a Killing in the Corporate World by Jennifer Jacquet for The Post and Courier of Charleston, SC.

Oline H. Cogdill reviewed Dark Objects by Simon Toyne and First Born by Will DeanBad Actors by Mick Herron and Breathless by Amy McCullochThe House Across the Lake by Riley Sager and Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen; and The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan, all for the South FloridaSun Sentinel.

Jeffrey Mannixreviewed Kalmann by Joachim B. Schmidt, translated from the Icelandic by Jamie Lee Searle, for his “Murder Ink” column in the Durango Telegraph.

Kristen Martinreviewed C.J. Hauser’s The Crane Wife: A Memoir in Essays for Gawker.

Sarah McCraw Crow reviewed The Shore by Katie RundeThis Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub; and I’ll Show Myself Out by Jessi Klein, all for BookPage.

NBCC lifetime member Fran Hawthornereviewed The Great Man Theory by Teddy Wayne for the New York Journal of Books.

W. Scott Olsen reviewed Colorist by Robert A. FlischelVanishing Cuba by Michael Chinnici; and Photographers on Photography, edited by Henry Carroll, all for Frames Magazine.

George De Stefanoreviewed Samuel Clowes Huneke’s States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany for PopMatters.

Benjamin Woodardreviewed Spell Heaven and Other Stories by Toni Mirosevich forOn the Seawall.

Patricia Schultheis reviewed Victoria Shorr’s Mid-Air: Two Novellas for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Julia M. Kleinreviewed The School That Escaped the Nazis by Deborah Cadbury for the Forward.

Yvonne C. Garrettreviewed Emma Donoghue’s novel Haven for The Brooklyn Rail. She also reviewed Mieko Kawakami’s All the Lovers in the Night: A Novel and Meng Jin’s Self-Portrait with Ghost: Short Stories for the same outlet.

Rhoda Fengreviewed Hoi Polloi’s production of the play White on White by Robert Quillen Camp for the Observer.

Iris Jamahl Dunkle reviewed It Must Be a Misunderstanding by Coral Bracho, translated from the Spanish by Forrest Gander, for the Colorado Review.

Hamilton Cain reviewed The Great Man Theory by Teddy Wayne for The Washington PostLearning to Talk: Stories by Hilary Mantel for Oprah Daily; and A Divine Language by Alec Wikinson and An Immense World by Ed Yong, both for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Dana Wildewrote about Peter Kilgore’s poetry of Long Island, Maine for The Working Waterfront.

Ian MacAllenreviewed A Short History of Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce by Massimo Montanari, translated from the Italian by Gregory Conti, for the Graduate Association for Food Studies.

Cory Oldweilerreviewed Katie Hafner’s The Boys for The Boston Globe.

Tobias Carroll wrote about Tara Isabella Burton’s new novel, The World Cannot Give, for the Portland Press-Herald. He pondered Nicola Griffith’s Spear at, and reviewed Mónica Ojeda’s Jawbone, translated from the Spanish by Sarah Booker, for On the Seawall. His monthly column for Words Without Borders covered new or forthcoming works in translation from Spain, Mexico, Japan, Kazakhstan, Sweden, and Cameroon.

Cassandra Whitakerreviewed Kristin Bock’s Glass Bikini for Barrelhouse.

Judith Revealreviewed The 6:20 Man by David Baldacci for the New York Journal of Books.

Member Interviews

NBCC VP/Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ruben Quesadainterviewed Erika L. Sánchez about Crying in the Bathroom, her new memoir, for Kirkus Reviews.

At Lit Hub, NBCC VP/Events Jane Ciabattariinterviewed Morgan Talty about capturing the uniqueness of tribal settings and finding the logic of a story in his debut collection, Night of the Living Rez.

On their “Across the Pond” podcast, NBCC board member Lori Feathers and her co-host, Sam Jordison, kicked off a series on small press submissions for the 2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize with Hans von Trotha and Elisabeth Lauffer discussing Pollak’s Arm (New Vessel Press).

W. Scott Olsen interviewed John Kreidler and John Paul Caponigro, both for the podcast series of Frames Magazine.

Grant Faulkner spoke to Kathryn Schulz about her memoir, Lost & Found and Zakiya Dalila Harris about her new novel, The Other Black Girl, on the “Write-Minded” podcast, which is now distributed by Lit Hub Radio.

Member News

The paperback edition of Sarah McCraw Crow’s novel The Wrong Kind of Woman will be out from Mira/HarperCollins on July 19.

“Toys, Bewick, Demagorgon” photo by NBCC member Michael Sims. Used with permission.