Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

We hope you’re all having a great summer! Our members have been busy the past week, writing reviews of books by authors including Edmund White, Ivy Pochoda, Thao Thai, Siddhartha Deb, Yiyun Li, and more, and interviewing writers like James Lee Burke and John Cotter. Thanks, as always, for supporting the NBCC, and stay safe and cool out there!

Member Reviews/Essays

For Salamander, Nichole LeFebvre reviewed Jinwoo Chong’s debut novel, Flux

Former NBCC board member Kerri Arsenault wrote in The New York Review of Books about Morgan Talty’s Night of the Living Rez, which won the NBCC’s 2022 John Leonard Prize.

Lee Rossi reviewed Divination With Human Heart Attached by Emily Stoddard for Pedestal Magazine.

Former NBCC board member and Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing winner Steven G. Kellman reviewed Aharon Appelfeld’s posthumously published novel Poland, a Green Land for the Forward.

In her new piece for Tablet magazine Susan Shapiro mentions the upcoming Barbie movie by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, and several top Barbie books, along with research (and outtakes) from her own 2019 book Barbie: 60 Years of Inspiration.

Carr Harkrader reviewed Edmund White’s The Humble Loverfor The Gay & Lesbian Review.

Jeffrey Mannix reviewed Sing Her Down by Ivy Pochoda for his Murder Ink column in the Durango Telegraph, covering southwest Colorado and the Four Corners of the Southwest.

Heller McAlpin reviewed Patrick deWitt’s The Librarianist for The Christian Science Monitor, and Carsten Henn’s The Door-to-Door Bookstore and Satoshi Yagisawa’s Days at the Morisaki Bookshop for NPR.

Frank Freeman reviewed The Education of Kendrick Perkins by Kendrick Perkins with Seth Rogoff for the Maine Sunday Telegram.

For Kirkus Reviews, former NBCC President Tom Beer wrote about Peter Moore’s Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and NBCC biography award winner Sarah Bakewell’s Humanly Possible.

Gayle Feldman wrote about Cormac McCarthy’s publishing history for Publishers Weekly.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell wrote her Girl Writing column, this one about revision, for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Rhoda Feng reviewed Tara Isabella Burton’s Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashiansfor The Boston Globe; Emily Kenway’s Who Cares: The Hidden Crisis of Caregiving, and How We Solve It for The American Prospect; Jennifer Lunden’s American Breakdown for Undark; and Thao Thai’s Banyan Moonfor The Washington Post.

Christoph Irmscher reviewed Mark Matousek’s Lessons From an American Stoic: How Emerson Can Change Your Life for The Wall Street Journal.

Jayne Marek reviewed Eric Nelson’s Horse Not Zebra for Cider Press Review.

Sarah McCraw Crow reviewed Caroline O’Donoghue’s The Rachel Incidentand Paul Rudnick’s Farrell Covington and the Limits of Stylefor BookPage.

Kai Maristed reviewed Daphne Kalotay’s The Archivists for The Arts Fuse.

Anne Charles reviewed Marina Tsvetaeva, written by Vénus Khoury-Ghata and translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan, for The Gay & Lesbian Review.

Diane Scharper reviewed the International Booker Prize-winning Tomb of Sand, written by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell, for America magazine.

RJ Heller reviewed Paul Molyneaux’s The Doryman’s Reflection: A Fisherman’s Lifefor the Bangor Daily News.

Diane Josefowicz reviewed The Road to the City by Natalia Ginzburg, translated by Gini Alhadeff, for Necessary Fiction.

Tobias Carroll reviewed Siddhartha Deb’s The Light at the End of the World for 

Kevin Brown reviewed Colette’s Chéri and The End of Chéri, both translated by Rachel Careau with an introduction by Lydia Davis, and an alternate translation of both by Paul Eprile with an introduction by Judith Thurman, for the 2023 summer online edition of Rain Taxi.

Iris Jamahl Dunkle reviewed Lyndall Gordon’s The Hyacinth Girl: T.S. Eliot’s Hidden Muse for the Colorado Review.

Hamilton Cain wrote about Hua Hsu’s NBCC Prize-winning Stay Truefor Alta.

Bill Thompson reviewed Jena Friedman’s Not Funny: Essays on Life, Comedy, Culture, Et Cetera for the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier.

Nell Beram reviewed three books for Shelf Awareness: The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson, Pete and Alice in Maine by Caitlin Shetterly, and Wednesday’s Child by Yiyun Li.

Member Interviews

For the Tampa Bay Times, NBCC Vice President/Secretary Colette Bancroft interviewed James Lee Burke, who at 86 has one book coming out and three more finished, and is working on another.

Lee Rossi interviewed poet, historian, and activist Peter Neil Carroll for About Place Journal.

Tobias Carroll interviewed Rodrigo Rey Rosa for The Brooklyn Rail.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship and Online Michael Schaub interviewed John Cotter for the Orange County Register.

Member News

Former NBCC board member Rod Davis read from his forthcoming novel, The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men, at the summer Noir at the Bar semi-annual event at The Wild Detectives in Dallas’s Bishop Arts District. Usually the event is held on the back patio of the bookstore/bar, but this time the heat made it an inside job.

Photo of Llibreria El Siglo al Mercantic, Sant Cugat del Vallès by Castellbo via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0.