Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

This Giving Tuesday, please consider giving to the National Book Critics Circle, which is heading into its 50th anniversary. In light of book bans, shuttered book review sections, reduced compensation for authors and critics, we’d like to enrich and expand our programs to address those issues and more with funds raised this year. Our fundraising goal is $50,000. For Giving Tuesday donors who contribute more than $50, we’re offering a National Book Critics Circle t-shirt featuring original artwork. We hope you’ll give generously here, or by texting books to +16507196917.

Member Reviews/Essays

Kylie Gellatly reviewed Mikko Harvey’s Let the World Have You for Gulf Coast.

Former NBCC board member Mary Ann Gwinn reviewed Longstreet: The Confederate General Who Defied the South by Elizabeth Varon for the Star Tribune.

For The Washington Post, Erik Gleibermann reviewed the hip-hop memoir The Upcycled Self by Tariq Trotter (Black Thought) of The Roots.

Emma Kantor reported on the Jane Austen Society of North America’s annual general meeting and the Society of Illustrators’ Italo Calvino exhibit for Publishers Weekly.

Carr Harkrader reviewed Justin Torres’ Blackouts for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Former NBCC President Laurie Hertzel’s Kerlan Award acceptance speech, about book banning, ran in Literary Hub. Laurie also wrote a roundup of picture books for children for the holiday books section of the Star Tribune.

Nell Beram reviewed two books for Shelf Awareness: Deborah Turbeville: Photocollage by Nathalie Herschdorfer and The Happy Couple by Naoise Dolan.

Diane Scharper wrote about her elderly students who wrote memoirs about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy for The Baltimore Sun.

Tahneer Oksman reviewed Worm: A Cuban American Odyssey by Edel Rodriguez for The Boston Globe and The Death of a Jaybird: Essays on Mothers and Daughters and the Things They Leave Behind by Jodi M. Savage for The Washington Post.

Claude Peck reviewed Emma Donoghue’s historical fiction Learned By Heart for The Gay & Lesbian Review.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Jennifer Burns’ Milton Friedman for The Boston Globe.

Laura Villareal reviewed Delicates by Wendy Guerra, translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson and Esperanza Hope Snyder, for Free State Review

Cory Oldweiler reviewed Claire Keegan’s So Late in the Day for The Boston Globe.

Aiden Hunt’s review of At the Car Wash by Arthur Russell will be published in the literary journal that he’s launching, Philly Poetry Chapbook Review.

Member Interviews

Carr Harkrader wrote a profile of Gabriel Bump, author of The New Naturals, for INDY Week.

Former NBCC President Tom Beer spoke with David Grann about The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder in Kirkus Reviews.

At Literary Hub, NBCC Vice President/Events Jane Ciabattari’s conversation with Naomi Alderman, whose The Power was written with a mentorship with NBCC Sandrof Award winner Margaret Atwood, focuses on creating a fictional tech dystopia (with a slice of hope) in her new book, The Future.

On their podcast, Across the Pond, former NBCC board member Lori Feathers and co-host Sam Jordison kicked off their occasional series on books submitted for the small press 2023 Republic of Consciousness Prize, US & Canada, with writer Kate Briggs on her novel The Long Form, submitted for the Prize by Dorothy, a publishing project.