Critical Notes

Reviews and More from NBCC Members

By Halima Elmajdoubi

Bookselling outside New School Auditorium The 2022 National Book Critics Circle Awards, New School Auditorium, New York, New York, March 23, 2023. Photograph by Beowulf Sheehan

Applications for the 2023-2024 Emerging Critics Fellowship opened Friday, April 7, 2023. The fellowship aims to break down financial and geographical barriers for emerging critics. Click here for additional information regarding eligibility and the fellowship timeline. We look forward to reviewing your application!

In the Spotlight

Bestselling author Nicole Chung’s latest memoir, A Living Remedy, navigates the separation, grief, and guilt between herself and her adoptive parents, while addressing the inequalities ingrained in our nation’s healthcare system as medical crises tormented her family. In her review for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Abby Manzella commends Chung for “candidly [bringing] readers in her life like they are old friends” and “the ease in her manner of storytelling.” Furthermore, Kristen Martin writes, “This book does not fill the void left behind by Chung’s parents and others lost to our broken systems, but it provides a powerful remembrance and a path forward,” in her review for NPR.


Martha Anne Toll reviewed Dean Calbreath’s The Sergeant for The Washington Post.

Manasa Tantravahi reviewed Wanjikũ wa Ngũgĩ’s Seasons in Hippoland for Strange Horizons.

For the TLS, Barbara J. King reviewed Sally Coulthard’s Fowl Play: A History of the Chicken From Dinosaur to Dinner Plate.

Keishel Williams’ reviewed Jeannette Walls’s Hang the Moon for NPR.

For The Tangential, Jay Gabler reviewed Jen Beagin’s Big Swiss and Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke’s Where are the Children Now?

Nan Cohen reviewed the anthologyBetween Paradise and Earth: Eve Poems, edited by Nomi Stone and Luke Hankins, for Jewish Book Council.

For BookTrib, Linda Hitchcock reviewed David and Jon Moscow’s From Scratch: Adventures in Harvesting, Hunting, Fishing, and Foraging on a Fragile Planet.

For the Chicago Review of Books Jake Casella Brookins reviewed Nathan Ballingrud’s The Strange and Victor LaValle’s Lone Women.

Julia Flynn Siler reviewed David Grann’s The Wager for The Wall Street Journal.

For On the Seawall, Lisa Spaar reviewed Alice Fulton’s Coloratura On A Silence Found in Many Expressive Systems.

Bill Thompson reviewed Adam Gopnik’s The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery for The Post and Courier.

For BookTrib, Linda Hitchcock reviewed Sasha Velour’s The Big Reveal.


Maisie Wiltshire-Gordon interviewed City Lights Executive Director Elaine Katzenberger, recipient of the NBCC 2022 Toni Morrison Achievement Award on behalf of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers.

Board member Mandana Chaffa spoke with Particia Smith about her photo book Unshuttered for Chicago Review of Books.

For the Village Voice, Rhoda Feng talked to Barbara Browning about her book The Miniaturists.

Rhoda Feng talked to Nuar Alsadir about her book Animal Joy: A Book of Laughter and Resuscitation for Parapraxis.

Elaine Szewczyk profiled author, playwright, and screenwriter Paul Rudnick, and his new novel Farrell Covington and the Limits of Style.

For TriQuarterly, Mandana Chaffa spoke with Kristine Langley Mahler about her essay collection Curing Season.

For Air Mail, Rhoda Feng spoke with Catherine Lacey about her novel Biography X.

Jay Gabler talked to George Vrtis and Christopher W. Wells, editors of Nature’s Crossroads for the Duluth News Tribune.

For New Jersey Monthly, Julia M. Klein talked to Michelle Miller about her memoir Belonging.

Suzanne Lang spoke with Joan Frank, author of two new books, for the Northern California Public Media podcast.

For The Nation, Rhoda Feng talked to Alissa Quart about her new book Bootstrapped.