Critical Notes

Reviews and More from NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

“Fiction is the only way to redeem the formlessness of life.” 

—Martin Amis (1949-2023), winner of the 2001 NBCC Award for Criticism

Member Reviews and Essays

Maud Newton reviewed Leah Myers’ Thinning Blood: A Memoir of Family, Myth, and Identityfor The New York Times Book Review.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Simon Sebag Montefiore’s The Worldfor the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Barbara J. King reviewed Melissa L. Sevigny’s Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyonfor Science magazine.

Cory Oldweiler reviewed Sky Above Kharkiv, written by Serhiy Zhadan and translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler, for The Boston Globe, and Cousins, written by Aurora Venturini and translated by Kit Maude, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Richard Scott Larson reviewed Daniel Allen Cox’s I Felt the End Before It Came: Memoirs of a Queer Ex-Jehovah’s Witness for the Chicago Review of Books.

Christoph Irmscher reviewed Julian Bell’s Natural Light: The Art of Adam Elsheimer and the Dawn of Modern Science for The Wall Street Journal.

Adam M. Lowenstein reviewed Quinn Slobodian’s Crack-Up Capitalismfor The Atlantic.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson reviewed Helen Cammock’s I Will Keep My Soul for Hyperallergic.

Alex Gurtis reviewed Marble Orchard by Emily Corwin for Aquifer: The Florida Review Online.

Dan Kubis reviewed Max Porter’s Shyfor the Chicago Review of Books.

Nell Beram reviewed four books for Shelf Awareness: The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths; The Tip Line by Vanessa Cuti; The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Essays on Desire and Consumption by Katy Kelleher; and The Woman Inside by M.T. Edvardsson.

Bill Thompson reviewed Jonathan Scott’s Into the Groove: The Story of Sound From Tin Foil to Vinylfor the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier.

Carol Iaciofano Aucoin reviewed Olivia Wolfgang-Smith’s novel Glassworks for WBUR’s Arts & Culture

Frank Freeman reviewed The Tin Nose Shop by Don J. Snyder for the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Kate White’s Between Two Strangersfor BookTrib.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell wrote a column about the almost-lost art of writing postcards for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship and Online Michael Schaub reviewed Ivy Pochoda’s Sing Her Downfor Alta.

Member Interviews

Amy Y.Q. Lin interviewed R.F. Kuang for The Rumpus.

Maggie Neal Doherty wrote a profile of Debra Magpie Earling for High Country News.

Farooz Rather interviewed Isabella Hammad for BOMB.

For Literary Hub, NBCC Vice President/Events Jane Ciabattari talked with Abraham Verghese, author of The Covenant of Water, about marrying medicine and writing.

For The Red Hook Star-Revue, Michael Quinn interviewed novelist and bookseller Emma Straub about the paperback release of This Time Tomorrow and the two locations of her Brooklyn bookstore, Books Are Magic.

Nicole Graev Lipson interviewed Claire Dederer, author of Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma, for the Chicago Review of Books

Grant Faulkner interviewed Charif Shanahan, author of the books Trace Evidence: poems and Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing, on the Write-minded podcast.

Costa B. Pappas interviewed Dr. Benjamin Taylor for the latest edition of the Northwest Review.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship and Online Michael Schaub interviewed Justin Cronin for Kirkus Reviews and Warren Zanes for the Orange County Register.

Member News

Jay Rogoff’s forthcoming book of poetry criticism, Becoming Poetry: Poets and Their Methods, has received the Lewis P. Simpson Award for an outstanding work of American literary criticism. The book, which investigates the work of some two dozen poets, will be published in November by Louisiana State University Press.

Shara Lessley, an NBCC member and editor-at-large for West Branch, edited a retrospective feature on Gary Soto’s The Elements of San Joaquin featuring essays by Manuel Muñoz and Nico Amador and NBCC members Rigoberto González and Laura Villareal.

Photo by eltpics via Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0.