Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

Friends, we hope you’re having a great fall so far! Our members have been keeping busy reviewing books by authors including Olga Ravn, Jonathan Lethem, Isle McElroy, Michael Lewis, and Justin Torres, and interviewing writers like Safiya Sinclair, Vauhini Vara, Carl Hiaasen, and Mary Roach. Stay safe, and thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

Rhoda Feng reviewed Olga Ravn’s My Work, translated by Sophia Hersi Smith and Jennifer Russell, for The Boston Globe, and Jenn Shapland’s Thin Skinfor The Village Voice.

Tahneer Oksman reviewed Meg Kissinger’s While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Joan Frank reviewed Mavis Gallant’s re-issued Paris Notebooks for The Washington Post.

NBCC board member Lauren LeBlanc reviewed Jonathan Lethem’s Brooklyn Crime Novelfor the Los Angeles Times.

Priscilla Gilman wrote about Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House and its relation to the rest of her novels for Alta and the California Book Club.

Lindsay Chervinsky reviewed Steve Inskeep’s Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America for The National Book Review.

For NPR, Ilana Masad reviewed People Collide by Isle McElroy, and for The Washington Post, she reviewed A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy by Nathan Thrall.

Nichole LeFebvre wrote and drew about Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House for Alta’s California Book Club. 

Julia M. Klein reviewed Michael Lewis’ Going Infinite for the Los Angeles Times.

Laura Villareal reviewed Muse Found in a Colonized Body by Yesenia Montilla, banana [ ] by Paul Hlava Ceballos, and Count by Valerie Martinez for West Branch magazine. Alfredo Aguilar and Laura reviewed black god mother this body by Raina J. León for the Letras Latinas Blog 2.

NBCC board member David Woo wrote a roundup of seven new poetry books, including titles from Romeo Oriogun, Shane McCrae, and Diane Mehta, for Literary Hub.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Justin Torres’ Blackouts, Will Hermes’ Lou Reed, and Mary Gabriel’s Madonnafor the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Kate Knibbs wrote about Michael Lewis’ Going Infinite and Zeke Faux’s Number Go Up for Wired.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell reviewed Janice Deal‘s Strange Attractors: The Ephrem Storiesfor Cleaver.

Cory Oldweiler reviewed Krisztina Tóth’s Barcode, translated by Peter Sherwood, for Words Without Borders.

Former NBCC board member Marion Winik wrote about five new audiobooks for Oprah Daily and reviewed Cristina García’s Vanishing Mapsfor The Washington Post.

Alexander Pyles reviewed Pilar Quintana’s Abyss, translated by Lisa Dillman, for Full Stop.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell’s latest “Girl Writing” column at the Washington Independent Review of Books is about the films Oppenheimer, Barbie, and Women Talking.

Andre Bagoo reviewed Kevin Jared Hosein’s novel Hungry Ghosts for the latest issue of sx salon.

Kevin Anthony Brown wrote an essay-review, “Seven Types of Disambíguation: The Mario Vargas Llosa Readings.” It discusses Conversation at Princeton, translated by Anna Kushner, and The Call of the Tribe, translated by John King. This review appears in the October issue of New English Review.

Miriam O’Neal reviewed Mary Kane’s In the Book I’m Readingfor Nixes Mate Review.

Lee Rossi reviewed Arthur Kayzakian’s The Book of Redacted Paintings for Pedestal Magazine.

George Yatchisin reviewed Gary Gulman’s Misfit: Growing Up Awkward in the ’80s for the California Review of Books.

Sarah Johnson reviewed Jon Clinch’s The General and Julia for Booklist.

Yvonne C. Garrett reviewed W. Scott Poole’s Dark Carnivals: Modern Horror and the Origins of American Empire for The Brooklyn Rail.

Martha Anne Toll reviewed Jeremy Eichler’s Time’s Echofor The Washington Post and Marina Harss’ The Boy From Kyivfor Pointe.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Melody Razak’s Mothfor BookTrib.

Member Interviews

Erik Gleibermann interviewed Safiya Sinclair about her memoir How to Say Babylon and poetry as an act of survival for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

NBCC Vice President/Fundraising Anita Felicelli interviewed Vauhini Vara about her new book, This Is Salvaged, for Alta Live. She also talked to Mary Roach, Shanthi Sekaran, and Jon Mooallem about their workspaces and writing habits and rituals for Alta.

NBCC Vice President/Secretary Colette Bancroft talked to Carl Hiaasen for the Tampa Bay Times.

Rhoda Feng interviewed Claire Jean Kim about Asian Americans in an Anti-Black World for the Chronicle Review.

Former NBCC board member Marion Winik interviewed Paul Goldberg for the Baltimore Fishbowl and James Patterson and Mike Lupica for Newsday.

Kate Carmody interviewed Paisley Rekdal about her latest hybrid collection of poems and essays, West: A Translation, for Fence.

NBCC Vice President/Barrios Book in Translation Prize Mandana Chaffa interviewed Nicole Sealey about The Ferguson Report: An Erasure for The Brooklyn Rail.

Member News

Some of our members, including Ilana Masad and Maris Kreizman, are working with the Freelance Solidarity Project, the digital media wing of the National Writers Union, on a project aiming to raise pay rates for book critics across the board. To that end, they’re collecting data about the current rates that book critics are being offered and working for. If you’d like to participate, you can fill out their survey here.

NBCC Emerging Critics Fellow Taylor Byas won the Maya Angelou Book Award for her debut poetry collection, I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times.

Laura Villareal’s debut poetry collection, Girl’s Guide to Leaving, was awarded the Writers’ League of Texas Book Award for Poetry.

Aquamarine, Valerie Duff’s second full-length collection of poems published by Lily Poetry Review Books, will launch in the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 30.

NBCC lifetime member Greg Sarris’ short story “Citizen,” first published in Zyzzyva magazine (edited by former NBCC board member Oscar Villalon) will be presented on-stage at Word for Word Theater in San Francisco from Oct. 18 through Nov. 12.

Edna Bonhomme has received a Works in Progress grant from the Robert B. Silvers Foundation. The grant is intended to support her work on her project, Freedom to Choose: Abortion Access in Germany, Haiti, and the United States.

“Capitol Hill Books” by jessica is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.