Critical Notes

Reviews and More From NBCC Members

By Michael Schaub

Friends, we hope you’re having a good summer so far! This past week, our members have been busy reviewing books by authors including Laura van den Berg, Halle Butler, Garth Risk Hallberg, Francine Prose, and J. Courtney Sullivan, and interviewing writers such as Lilly Dancyger, Caroline Leavitt, Rachel Khong, and Porochista Khakpour. Stay cool, stay safe, and thanks for reading!

Member Reviews/Essays

NBCC Emerging Critics Fellow Hannah Bonner reviewed Kōhei Saitō’s Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto, translated by Brian Bergstrom, for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Rhoda Feng reviewed Kate Abramson’s On Gaslighting for the TLS and Laura van den Berg’s State of Paradise for The Boston Globe.

Carl Hoffman reviewed Dean Jobb’s A Gentleman and a Thief: The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue for The Washington Post.

Jeannine Burgdorf reviewed Halle Butler’s Banal Nightmare for the Chicago Reader.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Garth Risk Hallberg’s The Second Coming for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Celia McGee reviewed Do Something: Coming of Age Amid the Glitter and Doom of ’70s New York by Guy Trebay for Air Mail.

Laurie Stone reviewed Francine Prose’s 1974for Everything Is Personal.

NBCC board member Tobias Carroll reviewed Margot Anne Kelley’s A Gardener at the End of the World for the Portland Press Herald, and wrote about five new books in translation for Words Without Borders.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson reviewed Chris Gavaler and Nat Goldberg’s Revising Reality for Hyperallergic.

W. Scott Olsen reviewed Look at the USAby Peter van Agtmael and Paradis Limoilou by Pascal Clement for Frames magazine.

Douglas C. MacLeod, Jr. reviewed Evi Matonis’ Wall Pilates Workouts for Women: 50 Complete Video Tutorials and Illustrations for Feathered Quill; Jake Johnston’s Aid State: Elite Panic, Disaster Capitalism, and the Battle to Control Haiti for the print edition of Rain Taxi; Nicole d’Entremont’s Sketching with Renoir for Today’s American Catholic; and wrote about the film Se7en for Arts & Faith.

Martha Anne Toll reviewed Uchenna Awoke’s The Liquid Eye of a Moon for NPR.

Linda Hitchcock reviewed Kimberly Belle’s The Paris Widow and Jaclyn Westlake’s Dear Dotty for BookTrib.

Carol Iaciofano Aucoin reviewed J. Courtney Sullivan’s The Cliffs for WBUR’s Arts & Culture.

Randy Cepuch reviewed Nick Corasaniti’s I Don’t Want to Go Home: The Oral History of the Stone Pony for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Jay Rogoff reviewed Margaret Greaves’ Lyric Poetry and Space Exploration from Einstein to the Present for Literary Matters.

Member Interviews

Amy Reardon interviewed Lilly Dancyger about her new book of essays, First Love, for Electric Literature.

NBCC board member Tobias Carroll chatted with Keith O’Brien about his biography of Pete Rose and interviewed Zito Madu about his memoir at InsideHook.

Martha Anne Toll interviewed Joan Leegant for Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Caroline Leavitt for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

In her latest Literary Hub conversation, NBCC Co-Vice President/Events Jane Ciabattari talked to Nina Schuyler about giving voice to nature and other characters in her new climate-themed linked story collection, In This Ravishing World, winner of the W.S. Porter Prize for Short Story Collections and The Prism Prize for Climate Literature.

Grant Faulkner interviewed Rachel Khong about her new novel, Real Americans, on the Write-minded podcast.

Former NBCC board member Anita Felicelli interviewed Porochista Khakpour about Tehrangeles for Alta.

W. Scott Olsen interviewed Rob Wilson for the Frames magazine podcast.

Hélène Cardona was interviewed by Sandra Luz del Castillo on Blue Medicine Journal: A Jungian Podcast.

Member News

Former NBCC board member Ruben Quesada has published two poems from his forthcoming collection, Brutal Companion, in the new issue of Seneca Review 54.1, Spring 2024. Ruben will also join former NBCC board member Tess Taylor, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Forrest Gander at the Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2024. 

Jason Berry’s novel, Last of the Red Hot Poppas, has been reissued in softcover by UL Press in Lafayette with a new foreword by Maurice Carlos Ruffin and an updated preface. The cover art (a corpulent alligator) is by Jason’s daughter Simonette Berry. You can watch the trailer here, and an interview Jason did recently about the new edition with WWL-TV here. For a review copy please contact UL Press.

Former NBCC board member Rod Davis was declared a winner in contemporary fiction for his novel, The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men: Human Bondage in the After-market of War, in the International Impact Book Awards, from Arizona-based Go All In Media. The indie-oriented awards are presented to shortlist finalists in different categories throughout the year, in this unique format with its own rules: “At the International Impact Book Awards, we’re not just recognizing books; we’re celebrating impactful stories that resonate with excellence.” 

Susan Kelly-DeWitt’s Frangible Operashas been published by Gunpowder Press.

“the comfort of a bookstore” by Alexandre Dulaunoy is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.