Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, the NBCC has decided to extend our fundraising drive through the end of the year! As a token of our appreciation, we are sending donors who contribute $50 or more, new NBCC t-shirts featuring original artwork by a New York artist. Donors who contribute $1000 or more at the VIP level will receive a mention in our awards program in the coming year and will also be thanked from the stage of the awards in March 2024. We hope you’ll give generously here, or by texting books to +16507196917!

Member Reviews/Essays

Hamilton Cain reviewed Paul Lynch’s Prophet Song, which recently won the Booker Prize, for the Star Tribune.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie reviewed Louise Kennedy’s The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac for The Boston Globe.

In her column for the Washington Independent Review of Books, Ellen Prentiss Campbell wrote about the surprising book venues of El Paso, Texas.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Prine on Prine: Interviews and Encounters with John Prine, edited by Holly Gleason, for BookTrib.

Cory Oldweiler reviewed Louise Kennedy’s The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac for the Star Tribune.

For Kirkus Reviews, former NBCC President Tom Beer wrote about five books that deserved more buzz in 2023.

Daneet Steffens reviewed Anthony Veasna So’s Songs on Endless Repeat for The Boston Globe.

Jason Berry wrote about Aaron Neville’s Tell It Like It Is: My Storyfor the National Catholic Reporter.

In her column for Baltimore Fishbowl, former NBCC board member Marion Winik wrote about Thanksgiving, Quiplash, and ChatGPT. Marion also reviewed Amanda Peters’ The Berry Pickersfor The Washington Post and Samantha Harvey’s Orbitalfor the Star Tribune, and contributed to Oprah Daily’s list of the Best Books of 2023.

Samantha Neugebauer reviewed Claire Keegan’s So Late in the Day for the Washington Independent Review of Books

Sarah McCraw Crow reviewed Michael Cunningham’s Dayand Ann Patchett’s Tom Lakefor BookPage.

Bill Thompson reviewed Martyn Whittock’s American Vikingsfor The Post and Courier.

Nell Beram reviewed three books for Shelf Awareness: It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce; Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen by Sarah James; and Outrageous: A History of Showbiz and the Culture Wars by Kliph Nesteroff.

Ryan Asmussen reviewed John Gray’s The New Leviathansfor the Chicago Review of Books.

Frank Freeman reviewed Hermann Hesse’s Butterflies: Reflections, Tales, and Verse, translated by Elisabeth Lauffer, for Today’s American Catholic.

Member Interviews

Tiffany Troy interviewed Dara Barrois/Dixon about her latest poetry chapbook, Nine, for The Adroit Journal.

Jim Ruland talked to Lee Herrick about his first year as California Poet Laureate for the Los Angeles Times.

For their Across the Pond podcast, former NBCC board member Lori Feathers and co-host Sam Jordison continue their look at submissions for the 2023 Republic of Consciousness Prize, US & Canada, in a discussion with Christine Lai, whose debut novel Landscapes was submitted by publisher Two Dollar Radio.

Hamilton Cain wrote a profile of The Fox Wife author Yangsze Choo for Publishers Weekly.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship and Online Michael Schaub interviewed Do Tell author Lindsay Lynch for the Orange County Register.

Member News

NBCC members Daphne Kalotay and Ben Fountain were longlisted for the 2024 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, which honors “a distinguished writer who has emerged and is still emerging.”

Edna Bonhomme was recently awarded The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for 2023. She will write a series of essays animating the reproductive lives of people of African descent as portrayed by contemporary Black feminist artists, filmmakers, and sages. Her writing will generate connections between the history of science and the aesthetics of the Black womb, narrating how the African diaspora has exercised agency through pregnancy termination. It will also conjure the rapturous texture of childlessness and infertility among those who develop alternative models to kin, including queer communities.

Michael O’Donnell’s novel Above the Fire is released this week by Blackstone Publishing. In a starred review, Booklist calls it “an utterly gripping debut novel,” and Library Journal describes it as “a journey of bonding and healing for a father and son wounded by loss, in a work that is surprisingly tender.”

“Phonography- walls of knowledge.” by Tommy Ellis is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.