Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, we hope you’re having a good winter so far! We have some exciting news to announce soon, so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, here are some pieces are members have published recently, including reviews of books by authors such as Manjula Martin, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Stephen McCauley, Helen Garner, and Marie-Helene Bertino, and interviews with writers like Karl Marlantes, Adiba Nelson, and Vanessa Chan. Stay safe and warm, and as always, thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

Kristen Martin reviewed Jacqueline Alnes’ The Fruit Curefor The Washington Post, E.J. Koh’s The Liberators for Columbia Magazine, and Manjula Martin’s The Last Fire Season for NPR.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Maria Coffey’s Insteadfor BookTrib.

Kitty Kelley reviewed Elizabeth B. White and Joanna Sliwa’s The Counterfeit Countessfor the Washington Independent Review of Books.

NBCC board member May-lee Chai reviewed Susan Muaddi Darraj’s debut novel-in-stories, Behind You Is the Sea, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

For On the Seawall, Ron Slate reviewed Wings of Red by James W. Jennings, February 1933 by Use Wittstock and The Rainbow by Yasunari Kawabata. Ron also reviewed Formation by Brad Mehldau, Becoming Ella Fitzgerald by Judith Tick, Thank You (Faletinme Be Mice Elf Agin) by Sly Stone, and Rock & Roll in Kennedy’s America by Richard Aquila for On The Seawall.

Michael Sims wrote a personal essay about a son teaching his father about the magic of swing sets for The Common Reader.

Claude Peck reviewed Last Acts by Alexander Sammartino for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

George Yatchisin reviewed Marsha de la O’s Creature and Will Hermes’ Lou Reed: The King of New Yorkfor the California Review of Books.

Meredith Maran reviewed Stephen McCauley’s You Only Call When You’re in Troublefor The Washington Post.

Clea Simon reviewed Katia Lief’s Invisible Woman for The Boston Globe.

Catherine Hervey reviewed Jesmyn Ward’s Let Us Descendfor the Englewood Review of Books.

Diane Scharper reviewed When Harry Met Pablo: Truman, Picasso, and the Cold War Politics of Modern Art by Michael Algeo  for the Washington Examiner.

David Starkey reviewed Helen Garner’s The Children’s Bach for the California Review of Books. David also wrote a double review of Nothing Stays Put: The Life and Poetry of Amy Clampitt by Willard Spiegelman and Jane Kenyon: The Making of a Poet by Dana Greene.

Samantha Neugebauer reviewed Emily Wilson’s translation of The Iliad for DCTrending

Heller McAlpin reviewed Cynthia Zarin’s Inverno for The Wall Street Journal and Tara Karr Roberts’ Wild and Distant Seas for The Christian Science Monitor.

For The Red Hook Star-Revue, Michael Quinn reviewed Here in Avalon by Tara Isabella Burton.

Nell Beram reviewed two books for Shelf Awareness: More: A Memoir of Open Marriage by Molly Roden Winter and She’s a Badass: Women in Rock Shaping Feminism by Katherine Yeske Taylor.

Brian Tanguay reviewed Fascism in America: Past and Present, edited by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld and Janet Ward, for the California Review of Books.

Hamilton Cain Kaveh Akbar’s Martyr! for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Ross Perlin’s Language City for On the Seawall.

Summer Farah wrote about must-read poetry for the winter of 2024 for The Millions.

Douglas C. MacLeod, Jr. recently wrote commentary about two films, The Holdovers and Knock at the Cabin, for Arts & Faith.

Chris Barsanti reviewed Kliph Nesteroff’s Outrageous: A History of Showbiz and the Culture Wars for PopMatters.

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed Nobel Prize winner Jon Fosse’s A Shining for The National Book Review.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship and Online Michael Schaub reviewed Marie-Helene Bertino’s Beautylandfor The Boston Globe.

Member Interviews

NBCC Vice President/Events Jane Ciabattari’s conversation with Karl Marlantes about his new novel, Cold Victory, focuses on researching and writing about the early years of the Cold War in Finland.

Lisa Russ Spaar was interviewed by Jasmine V. Bailey about Paradise Close and Madrigalia for On the Seawall.

Tamara MC interviewed Adiba Nelson about Ain’t That a Mother for Adanna.

Natalia Hotzman interviewed Ghassan Zeineddine about his debut story collection, Dearborn, for Hour Detroit.

Grant Faulkner interviewed Vanessa Chan about The Storm We Made on the Write-minded podcast.

Member News

Princeton University Press will publish Andrew Blauner’s ninth and penultimate anthology, On the Couch: Writers Analyze Sigmund Freud, on May 14. Contributors include André Aciman, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Siri Hustvedt, Rick Moody, Colm Tóibín, and more.

Joan Gelfand’s new book, Outside Voices: A Memoir of the Berkeley Revolution, published by Post Hill Press/Simon & Schuster Digital, was praised in Publishers Weekly as a “stirring account from the front lines of the feminist movement enchants.” Joan is doing a West Coast book tour with events at Books, Inc., Book Passage, Barnes & Noble and Book Soup in Los Angeles. She will be interviewed on iHeartRadio and on New Day Northwest in Seattle. You can learn more at Joan’s website.

Hélène Cardona will present The Abduction (White Pine Press, 2023), her new translation of Syrian poet Maram Al-Masri, at 2024 AWP Conference & Bookfair in Kansas City, Missouri, in the ALTA sponsored panel From the French but not From France: A Bilingual Reading of Francophone Poems. PEN America included The Abduction on a list of books published by PEN America members in 2023, and the book was reviewed by The US Review of Books. Her translation of André Breton’s poem “Always for the first time” (from Finger Exercises for Poets by Dorianne Laux, forthcoming from W. W. Norton & Company) is published in issue 29 of One.

“Cook&Book (Woluwe-Saint-Lambert)” by Antonio Ponte is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.