Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

We hope you’ve all been doing well! Our members haven’t been taking any breaks lately. They’ve been reviewing books by authors including R.F. Kuang, Jenny Erpenbeck, Roger Reeves, Stacey Abrams, and Lorrie Moore, and interviewing writers like Jane Smiley, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Max Porter, and Luis Alberto Urrea. Check it all out below, and as always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

Keishel Williams reviewed R.F. Kuang’s Yellowfacefor NPR.

Mary Pols wrote about some recommended beach reads, as well as new books by Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu, Sarah Cypher, and Wiz Wharton, for The New York Times Book Review.

Tiffany Troy reviewed Jennifer Franklin’s If Some God Shakes Your House for Hong Kong Review of Books.

Former NBCC board member Mary Ann Gwinn reviewed The Soldier’s Truth: Ernie Pyle and the Story of World War II by David Chrisinger for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Heller McAlpin reviewed Deborah Levy’s latest novel, August Blue, for The Wall Street Journal, and Luis Alberto Urrea’s Good Night, Irene, which pays tribute to the “Donut Dollies” of World War II and his mother, for The Christian Science Monitor.

NBCC lifetime member Fran Hawthorne reviewed T.C. Boyle’s Blue Skiesfor the New York Journal of Books.

Robert Rubsam reviewed Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck for The Washington Post, and Ed Yong’s An Immense World and Jonathan Meiburg’s A Most Remarkable Creature for Commonweal.

Daneet Steffens wrote a summer mysteries roundup for The Boston Globe.

Corey Van Landingham reviewed Canopy by Linda Gregerson, Lion’s Paw by Kathleen Peirce, and Best Barbarian by Roger Reeves in a review-essay for West Branch.

For Air Mail, Celia McGee reviewed Helen Schulman’s new novel, Lucky Dogs.

Christoph Irmscher reviewed Wes Davis’ American Journey: On the Road with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and John Burroughs for The Wall Street Journal

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Kim Todd’s Sensational: The Hidden History of America’s “Girl Stunt Reporters” for BookTrib.

Jeffrey Mannix reviewed A Disappearance in Fiji by Nilima Rao for his Murder Ink column in the Durango Telegraph, serving southwest Colorado and the Four Corners of the Southwest.

Nell Beram reviewed four books for Shelf Awareness: All That Is Mine I Carry with Me by William Landay; The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane; Rogue Justice by Stacey Abrams; and Unlikeable Female Characters: The Women Pop Culture Wants You to Hate by Anna Bogutskaya.

Ben Yagoda reviewed The Soldier’s Truth by David Chrisinger for The Wall Street Journal.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Rachel Louise Snyder’s Women We Buried, Women We Burned for The Boston Globe.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Kevin Powers’ A Line in the Sand for The Markaz Review.

Yvonne C. Garrett reviewed Lorrie Moore’s I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home for The Brooklyn Rail.

Jake Casella Brookins reviewed Rose/House by Arkady Martine for Locus.

Member Interviews

Former NBCC board member Lori Feathers and her podcast partner Sam Jordison recently interviewed the following authors their Across the Pond podcast: Martin Riker (The Guest Lecture), Toby Litt (A Writer’s Diary), Brad Fox (The Bathysphere Book), and Jenny Erpenbeck (Kairos).

For Kirkus Reviews, Nina Palattella interviewed Gary D. Schmidt about The Labors of Hercules Beal.

Paul Wilner interviewed Jane Smiley about her new collection, The Questions That Matter Most: Reading, Writing and The Exercise of Freedom, for the Nob Hill Gazette.

For Kirkus Reviews, former NBCC President Tom Beer spoke with Santi Elijah Holley about An Amerikan Family: The Shakurs and the Nation They Created. He also spoke with authors Hernan Diaz, Celeste Ng, Imani Perry, and Lisa See about their summer reading plans.

NBCC board member Mandana Chaffa interviewed Annelyse Gelman about her collection Vexations for Chicago Review of Books.

Hamilton Cain interviewed Max Porter, author of Shy, for The Rumpus.

Grant Faulkner talked to Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah about his new novel, Chain Gang All Stars, for the Write-minded podcast.

For Slate, Dan Kois discovered a lost 2005 interview with (fictional) author C.M. Lucca about Biography of X.

For Literary Hub, NBCC Vice President/Events Jane Ciabattari talked with Luis Alberto Urrea, whose new novel, Good Night, Irene, was written during the pandemic and inspired by his mother’s service in World War II as a “Donut Dolly.”

Tiffany Troy interviewed Valerie Hsiung about To Love an Artist for Matter and Rachel Rueckert about East Winds for Atticus Review.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship and Online Michael Schaub interviewed Ivy Pochoda and Luis Alberto Urrea for the Orange County Register.

Member News

Diane Scharper appeared on the Washington Examiner‘s February podcast, Book of the Month Club, with life and arts editor Nicholas Clairmont, discussing the biography A Mystery of Mysteries: the Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe by Mark Dawidziak.

Former NBCC board member Steve Paul presented a paper at the World of Bob Dylan symposium in Tulsa on June 2, titled “‘Put Your Guns in the Ground’: Bob Dylan, Billy the Kid, and Hollywood’s Western Delirium.”

Photo of Copenhagen University Library by Thomas Leuthard via Flickr / CC BY 2.0.