Reviews and More from NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

NBCC board member Anita Felicelli and Kristen Vangsness.

Members and friends, we hope you’re having a good spring! A few quick notes: Applications for the 2023-2024 Emerging Critics Fellowship are due Friday, May 5, by 11:59 PM Pacific. You can find more information here. And if you’re interested in serving on the Barrios Book in Translation Prize longlist selection committee, you can sign up here before Sunday, May 7, at midnight Pacific.

The NBCC will be sponsoring a panel at the Bay Area Book Festival on Saturday, May 6, from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Pacific, moderated by NBCC President Heather Scott Partington, and featuring recent Emerging Critics Yohanca Delgado, Ricardo Frasso Jaramillo, Jonathan Leal, Antonio López, and Maisie Wiltshire-Gordon. We’d love to see you there!

Finally, our good friends at The New School MFA Creative Writing program would like us to let you know that their preferred deadline for applications is Friday, May 5; you can find more information here. Don’t miss out on your chance to join their dynamic community of writers! And without further ado…

Member Reviews and Essays

NBCC Emerging Critic Fellow Summer Farah wrote about Hala Alyan’s Hijra and Jihyun Yun’s Some Are Always Hungry for Palette Poetry.

Heller McAlpin reviewed David Edmonds’ biography, Parfit: A Philosopher and His Mission to Save Morality, for The Wall Street Journal.

Lisa Russ Spaar’s latest Second Acts essay, which examines second books by Rita Dove and Solmaz Sharif, appeared at The Adroit Journal.

NBCC board member Colette Bancroft reviewed Dennis Lehane’s Small Mercies for the Tampa Bay Times.

Tobias Carroll wrote about writing implements for Literary Hub and about some notable April books in translation for Words Without Borders.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Victor LaValle’s Lone Women for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Diane Scharper reviewed the 2022 Booker Prize winner, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka, for America.

Jeremy Lybarger reviewed Howard Fishman’s To Anyone Who Ever Asks: The Life, Music, and Mystery of Connie Converse for The New Republic.

For the Portland Press Herald, Ilana Masad reviewed Hummingbird Heart, Travis Dandro’s second graphic memoir. 

Sarah Boxer reviewed two books for The New York Times Book Review: Mulysses, written and drawn by Øyvind Torseter, and Bea Wolf, written by Zach Weinersmith with pictures by Boulet (a.k.a. Gilles Roussel).

For Heavy Feather Review, Michael Quinn reviewed Barbara Helfgott Hyett’s Come Thunder.

For Slate, Dan Kois reviewed Ben Smith’s Traffic.

Rhoda Feng reviewed Yan Lianke’s Heart Sutra, translated by Carlos Rojas, for the TLS, and Ava Chin’s Mott Street for The Washington Post.

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed Jeff Boyd’s The Weight and Sarah Cypher’s The Skin and Its Girl for The Oregonian, and Maxim Osipov’s Kilometer 101, edited by NBCC Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize winner Boris Dralyuk and translated by Dralyuk, Nicolas Pasternak Slater, and Alex Fleming, for World Literature Today.

Christopher Lancette reviewed Christopher Preston’s Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals for EcoLit Books.

Daneet Steffens reviewed Dennis Lehane’s Small Mercies for The Boston Globe.

Sophia Stewart reviewed Regan Penaluna’s How to Think Like a Woman for The Atlantic and Claire Dederer’s Monsters for The Millions.

Nell Beram reviewed four books for Shelf Awareness: Chita Rivera’s Chita: A Memoir; Claire Dederer’s Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma; Jane Roper’s The Society of Shame; and Susanna Hoffs’ This Bird Has Flown.

Nan Cohen reviewed Gerald Stern’s book-length poem I., with a foreword by Ross Gay and afterword by Alicia Ostriker, for the Jewish Book Council.

Carol Iaciofano Aucoin reviewed Dennis Lehane’s novel Small Mercies for WBUR’s Arts & Culture

Jake Casella Brookins reviewed Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh for the Chicago Review of Books.

George De Stefano reviewed Lucinda Williams’ Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You for the New York Journal of Books.

For NPR, NBCC board member Michael Schaub reviewed Jess Row’s The New Earth and Tyriek White’s We Are a Haunting.

Member Interviews

NBCC board member Colette Bancroft interviewed Dave Barry for the Tampa Bay Times.

Terese Svoboda was interviewed by Jennifer Egan at The Millions.

Martha Anne Toll’s interview with Davon Loeb appeared in Lilith.

NBCC Emerging Critic Fellow Summer Farah interviewed Maya Salameh for Sumou Magazine.

For the Duluth News Tribune, Jay Gabler interviewed Lynette Reini-Grandell and Venus de Mars, author and foreword writer (respectively) of Wild Things: A Trans-Glam-Punk-Rock Love Story

At InsideHook, Tobias Carroll talked with John Higgs about his Beatles & James Bond history Love and Let Die, and with Dian Hanson about her six-volume History of Men’s Magazines.

For Seven Days, Jim Schley interviewed poet Vievee Francis about her new collection, The Shared World.

NBCC board member Michael Schaub interviewed Victor LaValle and Susanna Hoffs for the Orange County Register.

Member News

Martha Anne Toll just signed with Regal House Publishing for her second novel, Duet for One, pitched as “Bel Canto meets Hello Beautiful, a lush musical story about the power of love to transform grief” for publication in early 2025.

​​NBCC board member Anita Felicelli’s short story, “Time Invents Us,” was featured at Selected Shorts: Uncharted Territories. Actress Kirsten Vangsness performed it April 22 at the Irvine Barclay Theater. 

Jim Ruland’s new novel, Make It Stop, was reviewed by Marc Weingarten for the Los Angeles Times
Connie Post’s Between Twilight was reviewed by Gail Goepfert at Rhino.