Critical Notes

New Reviews and More from NBCC Members

By David Varno

Authors from the panel in their Zoom squares

Dear NBCC Members,
This week, the literary world awaits the announcement of the Nobel Prize winner for 2022. Guiding us as usual through the crowded and geographically scattered field of deserving candidates is Alex Shephard for the New Republic, whose predictions have gone “longer and more unhinged in the best way,” chimed PW’s John Maher on Twitter, and which amount to a series of reasons for why most of the candidates have no real shot at winning.
In happier news, NBCC winners Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Clint Smith have both won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and NBCC winner Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be honored Oct. 6 with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard.
Lastly, to recap on a busy week with the Brooklyn Book Festival, here’s a link to the video from Wednesday’s conversation with NBCC Leonard Prize winners and finalists Torrey Peters, Larissa Pham, and Kirstin Valdez Quade, organized by Maris Kreizman. It was a fascinating conversation, and it was sobering to hear Peters and Pham describe how their success last year came with a chilling effect on their work as writers, due to bigotry and bad faith reading. On the plus side, Pham credited the many reviews she received for Pop Song from smaller outlets, including campus publications, for the book’s momentum.  
Celia McGee reviewed Celeste Ng’s Our Missing Hearts in Avenue magazine. 

Michael Bobelian reviewed When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm by Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe for the Washington Post.

Clea Simon reviewed Laura Warrell’s Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm for the Boston Globe.
Joan Frank reviewed Stacey D’Erasmo’s The Complicities for the Washington Post.
NBCC VP/Online David Varno, author of this newsletter, reviewed Kibogo by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti, for Words Without Borders. Varno also moderated a conversation with Mukasonga and Vladimir Sorokin at the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Oline H. Cogdill reviewed Really Bad Things by Kelly J. Ford and The Best Friend by Jessica Fellowes for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves for Shelf Awareness.
Martha Anne Toll wrote about a group of memoirs by classical musicians for Electric Literature.
Heather Green reviewed Exilée and Temps Morts by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Pink Waves by Sawako Nakayasu, and The Feeling Sonnets by Eugene Ostashevsky for the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Books.
Tamara MC reviewed Daniella Mestyanek Young’s memoir Uncultured for Ms., and about the intergenerational trauma of girls growing up in cults. She also reviewed Adiba Nelson’s Ain’t That a Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between for Literary Mama.
Emma Kantor wrote about recent adaptations of Persuasion and The Lost Daughter for Electric Literature.
Sarah Johnson reviewed Kamila Shamsie’s Best of Friends and Maggie O’Farrell’s The Marriage Portrait for Booklist.
Keishel Williams wrote about Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s Half Of A Yellow Sun for PEN America for banned books week. 
Tobias Carroll wrote about notable indie press science fiction and fantasy books and reviewed M. Rickert’s Lucky Girl for
Laura Villareal reviewed Swallowed Light, by Michael Wasson, Philomath, by Devin Walker-Figueroa, and Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking, by C.T. Salazar for West Branch.
Jim Schley reviewed GennaRose Nethercott’s Thistlefoot for Seven Days.
Kait Heacock reviewed It Came From the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror edited by Joe Vallese for Liber Review.
Fran Hawthorne reviewed The Matchmaker’s Gift by Linda Cohen Loigmanfor the New York Journal of Books.
Linda Hitchcock reviewed Lark Ascending by Silas House and talked to the author for BookTrib. Also for BookTrib, Hitchcock reviewed Shrines of Gaiety byKate Atkinson and Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah,
Nell Beram reviewed Rina Raphael’s The Gospel of Wellness: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care and Rob Roth’s WarholCapote: A Non-Fiction Invention for Shelf Awareness.

Sarah McCraw reviewed Jessie Burton’s The House of Fortune, Katherine Chen’s Joan, David Sedaris’ essay collection Happy-Go-Lucky, and Ellen Gaydos’s memoir Pig Years, all for BookPage.
NBCC member David R. Altman reviewed Jodi Picoult’s latest, Wish You Were Here, in the August 29th edition of the Braselton News.
Elaine Szewczyk profiled British mystery and thriller writer Clare Mackintosh and wrote about the 2022 Frankfurt Book Fair’s biggest books for Publishers Weekly.

NBCC VP/Events Jane Ciabattari spoke with Namwali Serpell, author of the “inventive, evocative” novel The Furrows, for her Lit Hub column.

Elizabeth Lund interviewed NBCC winner and U.S. poet laureate Ada Limón for The Christian Science Monitor.
Jeff Alessandrelli and Ashley Yang Thompson talked about their recent books for Poetry Northwest.

Chris Wolak and Emily Fine interviewed Diane Wilson about her debut novel The Seed Keeper for the Book Cougars podcast.

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