Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

Members and friends, it’s almost time for the National Book Critics Circle Awards! We’ll be announcing the winners of our annual prizes this Thursday, March 21, at a ceremony at The New School Auditorium in New York at 6:30 pm Eastern (doors open at 6:00 pm). While our finalists reading and post-ceremony reception are sold out, there are still tickets to the ceremony available if you’d like to join us, and we’ll also be livestreaming the event on YouTube. We’d love for you to attend, either in person or virtually! Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen, and congratulations to all the finalists. And thank you for your support!

Member Reviews/Essays

Seán Carlson reviewed the Fitzcarraldo Editions reissue of Simone de Beauvoir’s A Very Easy Death for The Oxford Review of Books.

Alexander Pyles wrote an essay about gardening and the death of his son for Fare Forward.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Elizabeth B. White and Joanna Sliwa’s The Counterfeit Countess for BookTrib.

Margot Mifflin reviewed Matt Lodder’s Painted Peoplefor the Los Angeles Times.

Hannah Weber reviewed The Extinction of Irena Rey by Jennifer Croft for World Literature Today and The History of My Sexuality by Tobi Lakmaker, translated by Kristen Gehrman, for Words Without Borders.

Rafael C. Castillo reviewed La Quinta Soledad by Silviana Wood for Review of Texas Books.

NBCC board member Rebecca Morgan Frank’s March poetry roundup is live at Literary Hub

Diane Scharper reviewed Paul Murray’s Prophet Songfor America.

Clea Simon wrote about Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell mysteries and reviewed her new A Grave Robbery for The ArtsFuse.

NBCC board member Lauren LeBlanc reviewed Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s The American Daughtersfor the Los Angeles Times.

Martha Anne Toll wrote about moving her 107-year-old grandmother into a nursing home for Gargoyle Magazine.

NBCC lifetime member Fran Hawthorne reviewed Stephanie Dray’s Becoming Madam Secretaryfor the New York Journal of Books.

Nell Beram reviewed two books for Shelf Awareness: How to Be Old: Lessons in Living Boldly from the Accidental Icon by Lyn Slater and The Silence by Mary McGarry Morris.

Abby Manzella wrote about Cristina Henríquez’s The Great Divide for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Former NBCC board member Mark Athitakis reviewed Russell Banks’ posthumous linked story collection, American Spirits, for the Los Angeles Times.

Tobias Carroll reviewed Michele Mari’s Verdigris, translated by Brian Robert Moore, for On the Seawall and Waubgeshig Rice’s Moon of the Turning Leaves for Reactor.

Cory Oldweiler wrote about Christina MacSweeney’s translation of Clyo Mendoza’s Furyfor Southwest Review.

NBCC Vice President/Barrios Book in Translation Prize Mandana Chaffa reviewed Diane Seuss’ Modern Poetry for the Chicago Review of Books.

Jenny Shank reviewed Téa Obreht’s The Morningside for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Brian Tanguay reviewed Adam Shatz’s The Rebel’s Clinic for California Review of Books.

Tahneer Oksman reviewed Tessa Hulls’ Feeding Ghosts for The Boston Globe.

Chris Barsanti reviewed Christopher Hitchens’ A Hitch in Time: Reflections Ready for Reconsideration for PopMatters.

Patricia Jazanoski wrote about The Flounder and Other Stories by John Fulton and Abby Walthausen wrote about School of Instructions by Ishion Hutchinson in the Spring 2004 print edition of Rain Taxi.

NBCC Vice President/Emerging Critics Fellowship and Online Michael Schaub reviewed Jennifer Croft’s The Extinction of Irena Reyfor Alta.

Member Interviews

Joyce Sáenz Harris interviewed Ashley Schumacher for The Dallas Morning News.

Laura Villareal interviewed Marco Wilkinson about his debut, Madder: A Memoir in Weeds, for Letras Latinas Blog 2

Sasha Vasilyuk spoke with Katya Apekina about her novel, Mother Doll, for the Los Angeles Review of Books

NBCC Vice President/Events Jane Ciabattari talked with Rita Bullwinkel about her first novel, Headshot, about how she experiments with form and bends time in uncanny ways. She also spoke with Litquake co-founder Jack Boulware about all things literary including the NBCC  awards.

Jeff Alessandrelli interviewed Joshua James Amberson and Brandon Shimoda on the podcast The Lives of Writers.

Michael O’Donnell was interviewed on the podcast I’ll Follow You about his novel Above the Fire.

At InsideHook, Tobias Carroll talked with Jim Saah about his photo book In My Eyes and interviewed Michael Wolraich about The Bishop & The Butterfly.

Julia M. Klein interviewed Barbara Weisberg about Strong Passions for The Pennsylvania Gazette.

Member News

Diane Josefowicz’s novella, L’Air du Temps (1985), was published on March 12 by Regal House.

Terese Svoboda received a New York Times double review for her books Roxy and Coco and The Long Swim. Wendy J. Fox featured Roxy and Coco in “15 Small Press Books You Should Be Reading This Winter” in Electric Literature, and Eric Hall interviewed her in Hayden’s Ferry.

Jenny Shank will be one of the screener judges for this year’s Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The University of Georgia Press will be accepting short story collections for consideration between April 1 and May 31; you can submit here.