Lost Children Archive is at once a compelling, beautifully articulated novel and a profound, unsentimental composition on exile. An estranged husband and wife, along with the husband’s ten-year-old son and wife’s five-year old daughter (all unnamed), embark on a road trip from New York City to Arizona. The husband is relocating there for his project to gather the lost sounds of the Apaches. Meanwhile the wife, expecting to return to New York with her daughter, begins work documenting the experiences of “lost children”—kids beyond our southern border who undertake dangerous journeys to be reunited with family in the U.S. but often never make it.
Through their respective projects both husband and wife seek to recapture the essence of these exiled groups by gathering the traceable fragments of their transitory presences. Lost Children Archive incorporates samples from actual literary works, music, photographs, maps, and official records into its narrative. The novel’s intertextuality, the way that these items communicate with and relate to Luiselli’s story, is masterful.
This is a family suspended in liminal states of time, geography and emotional commitment. The vast empty spaces of the American Southwest symbolize this not only for the family but also for the exiled Apaches of the past and immigrant children of the present. All share the experience of traversing this land, so empty and large, yet without room for them. As the novel progresses the private tragedy of the family’s quiet destruction and the public horror of the forced separation of immigrant parents from their children, converge.
While on the road the family makes an intentional detour to a New Mexico air strip where officers are directing immigrant children onto a plane that will remove them from the country.This scene lays bare the cruelty of the U.S. government’s policy and our country’s pernicious legacy of practicing exclusion as a means of asserting superiority over those we deem “other.” Luiselli’s novel is both an eloquent work of art and an indictment of our numbed complacency to injustice.
John Domini reviewed And I Do Not Forgive You, short stories by Amber Sparks, for the Washington Post.
Rachael Nevins wrote about coming of age, dissent and Abigail by Magda Szabó at Ploughshares.
Eric Nguyen reviewed Real Life by Brandon Taylor for Ploughshares; Butterfly Yellow by Thanhhà Lại for diaCRITICS; andThe Starlet and the Spy by Ji-Min Lee, translated by Chi-Young Kim, for Spectrum Culture.
Nina Schuyler interviewed Ann Harleman about her novel Tell Me, Signora at Fiction Advocate.
Heidi Seaborn interviewed Victoria Chang (NBCC Board member) about her new poetry collection Obit in the The Adroit Journal.
James H. Scott reviewed David M. Rubenstein’s The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians for Wellington Square Books.
AND OTHER NEWS:
Board member Tess Taylor has two books of poetry out this spring: Last West, a book length collage poem that is also a part of the Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures Exhibition at MoMA (up through May 9); and Rift Zone from Red Hen Press.
Meg Waite Clayton’s The Last Train to London is a Jewish Book Award finalist.
John Domini was interviewed in Rain Taxi about his novel The Color Inside a Melon and also discussed the book with Lance Olsen in Vol. 1 Brooklyn.
Former board member Linda Wolfe has died, her family has shared on social media. Wolfe published several works of fiction nonfiction, including Wasted: The Preppie Murder, which was a NY Times notable book in 1989. She was an active member of the NBCC, including serving on the board of directors, for more than 40 years.
SEND US YOUR STUFF:
NBCC members: Send us your stuff! Your work may be highlighted in this roundup; please send links to new reviews, features and other literary pieces, or tell us about awards, honors or new and forthcoming books, by dropping a line to NBCCcritics@gmail.com. Be sure to include the link to your work.
Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future by Kate Brown (Norton)
It’s been thirty-three years since the accident at the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, and despite millions in relief funding, extensive local research and the collapse of the Soviet Union, details about the scope of the disaster are still largely unknown. Never forthcoming about its failures, Moscow withheld information from the public, and partly as a result, a 2006 UN report put the official fatality count at just fifty-four. Manual for Survival, MIT professor Kate Brown’s powerful investigation into the long-lingering effects of radiation in the region, upends decades of deliberate obfuscation with material based on years of meticulous archival and field research.
Over the course of the book, Brown takes radiation measurements at wool factories and forests (where blueberries picked for export still exceed normal levels) and pores through formerly closed state archives to put together a comprehensive picture of the catastrophe—and of the hundreds of thousands of people who were likely affected. As Brown’s narrative arcs through the marshes of Ukraine and slaughterhouses of Belarus, the scale of the fallout becomes increasingly clear, and even more shocking. Today, the millions of tourists who visit Chernobyl each year are outfitted with Geiger counters and told at the end of their visits that they received a dose of radiation equivalent to an hourlong flight.
So is the site still dangerous or not? Brown’s book uses concrete figures to blow past official excuses—it’s difficult to trace the causes of cancer; shoddy Soviet health care and governance made it impossible to get accurate numbers—and also exposes the American government’s refusal to contribute its scientific expertise on radiation. The field of Chernobyl studies is already full of standout books—Serhii Plokhy’s Chernobyl and Svetlana Alexeivich’s Voices From Chernobyl come to mind—but in combining scientific rigor with artful, dramatic pacing, Manual for Survival proves itself to be an exceptional addition.
The Tradition by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)
Which tradition? Whose? Jericho Brown presses these questions continually in the slender, subtle, wry, and beautiful lyric poems of The Tradition – but almost never in ways a reader might anticipate. The book considers subjects like police violence against black men (“Bullet Points”), the clarifying anger of parenthood in a society of such basic structural injustice as America (“A Young Man”), and of love too (“Of My Fury”). Yet at the same time, Brown tends to dwell on the very oldest subjects of poetry, reaching, with minimalist intensity, back into the parts of the tradition worth holding onto. Physical love. The mystery of our parents. The moon.
The result feels like a new path forward: the politics as identity as absolutely essential, rather than definitive. Brilliant silvery minnows of observation dart through The Tradition – “We few left who listen to the radio leave/Ourselves open to surprise” – and lend the book a strange joyfulness, given the frequent darkness of its topics. “I begin with love, hoping to end there,” Brown writes. It’s a line whose sad uncertainty recalls Larkin (or Villon, or Sappho) but which belongs inextricably in his case to the fundamental disquiet of the time into which he was born as a gay black man. Indeed, it might be his ethic. For all the battered tenderness of The Tradition, hope is its tonic note, flowering against the anger of the days – an instinct as old and as important to revere, Brown suggests, as the instinct to write in the first place. “None of the beaten end up how we began,” he writes. Still, he goes on, “A poem is a gesture toward home.” By fusing his experiences on earth with formal innovations of his own, Brown has created something startling and new. Whose tradition, you ask? His.
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval by Saidiya Hartman (W.W. Norton)
Saidiya Hartman’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments is about the radical sexualities and the aesthetics of waywardness that young black women introduced into early twentieth-century American life. While key cultural figures such as Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, and fourteen year-old Eleanor Fagan (aka Billie Holiday) appear in these pages, Hartman’s narrative focuses on round-the-way girls, “gender-queer strollers,” lesbian chorines, and working-class intellectuals like Mattie Jackson, Gladys Bentley, Esther Brown, and Mabel Hampton — women overlooked historically and otherwise invisible in official archives.
Hartman opens her experimental book, explaining that she’s written from “the nowhere of the ghetto and the nowhere of utopia.” Hartman takes us “there,” to that elsewhere on the “margin,” that black, blurry nowhere in the wake of American history. There, the author argues, is the culture’s actual core, the very seedbed of American modernism: young black women yielding “a thousand new forms and improvisations” on love and liberation. Paying close attention to the “nowhere” Negro zones in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Philadelphia and New York, Hartman cycles through an array of photographs, police reports, prison case files, diaries, sociological studies, autobiographies, and personal correspondence in order to articulate the voices of radical black womanhood.
When Hartman calls this book an album, she means it doubly: it’s a thing to look at, to examine, and a thing to listen closely to. Note the troubling vision of Thomas Eakins’ African American girl nude, reclining on couch (ca. 1882) early in these pages. Hartman studies the image closely, enhancing and critiquing the cruel radiance it exudes. Employing a mode of close narration, Hartman inseparably relates her voice to the photographed girl’s. Here’s the author listening to this image. Hartman practices close reading, close listening, and close narration throughout in order to improvise what she calls the “fugitive” chorus informing the book. “[Y]ou can hear the whole world in a bent note, a throwaway lyric, a singular thread of the collective utterance. Everything from the first ship to the young woman found hanging in her cell . . . A tome of philosophy in a moan. In the deepest, darkest recesses of an opaque song, it is clear that life is at stake.”
Hartman’s gift for citing and interpolating sounds, notions, concepts, and ideas from poets, philosophers, novelists, art and literary critics, blues, jazz, and funk singers gives the work a rising trajectory, one that helps us imagine Sula Peace’s wayward decade and offers a kind of genealogy for Meshell Ndegeocello’s queer millennial funk. Thus, the book’s choral effect resonates concentrically, both directions at once, not leader and mass, but headless, propelling radical black transformations. Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments moans sensually and philosophically, adding bright, round, gorgeous newness to the extended ring shout of the African American critical tradition.
The Queen: The Forgotten Life behind an American Myth by Josh Levin (Little, Brown)
The “welfare queen” meme was built on a myth that Josh Levin takes to its gnarly, contradictory origins in his lucid and engaging The Queen.
The euphemism was often associated with Ronald Reagan in his failed 1976 presidential campaign, though he didn’t use those words. She was Reagan’s Cadillac-driving “woman in Chicago” with an income of $150,000 a year, who had claimed 80 names and 30 addresses to get food stamps, veterans benefits for nonexistent husbands, and other aid. As Levin writes, this was code for the “lazy, black con artist, unashamed about cadging the money that honest folks worked so hard to earn.”
A Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago reporter brought Linda Taylor to national prominence in 1974 in stories with headlines that dubbed her the “welfare queen.” That image fueled public hysteria about welfare abuse, and Reagan amplified her as an outrageous example of fraud.
In The Queen, a feat of investigative reporting matched with a deep understanding of history, Levin uncovers this creation myth that hardened into a stereotype and was deployed to chip away at benefits for the poor. But he does more than that;he subverts this image with his far more interesting portrait. While he writes a fascinating tale of how the myth was constructed, he also reveals Taylor to be a grifter, a thief, a kidnapper, and possibly a murderer — a damaged woman who was victimized, but who also victimized those more vulnerable than she.
From her myriad aliases, Levin reconstructs the life of the woman known as Linda Taylor from her 1926 birth in Golddust, Tennessee, and though sources as varied as old property deeds, court transcripts, police records, and the few who met her but didn’t really know her. Levin finds that the woman whose mother was white and her father black was listed as white on a census report, yet claimed to be white, Mexican or even Hawaiian. Victim and victimizer, she demonized black women in particular. Abused as a child, she abandoned her own children and is accused of selling others on the black market.
In his determined quest,Levin untangles the twisted story of a fascinating woman — known to some as Linda Taylor, both a perpetrator of crimes and a victim of them — and shines a klieg light on a moment in history.
Five Days Gone: The Mystery of My Mother’s Disappearance as a Child by Laura Cumming (Scribner)
The central question at the heart of Laura Cumming’s book is what happened when her mother, at age three, was taken away from her parents on an English beach one autumn afternoon in 1929. As the author tries to solve this untangle what happened, another question emerges: Why do we so often see what we want to see, rather than what’s right in front of us? For Cumming the issue of perception, both visual and emotional, is central; in this thrilling, moving book, the author holds up both words and images for our consideration and reflection.
The child was returned to her parents after five days. She didn’t learn about her own kidnapping until decades later. She grew up to become a painter and a mother; her daughter, Cumming, an art critic — perhaps the ideal position from which to unpack a deep family secret, shrouded in silence for years. “We need images quite apart from anything else,” Cumming writes, “when we have no words.” As Cumming dives deeper into her mother’s story, she finds herself “paying more attention to the smallest of visual details — the clues in a dress, the distinctive slant of a copperplate hand, the miniature faces in a family album.”
“The lives of our parents before we were born are surely the first great mystery,” Cumming writes. It’s a curiosity that stems in part from egoism — how could the world exist before we do? — but also one that comes from love. The deep devotion of mothers and daughters runs through Five Days Gone like an underground river. Perhaps that love is what makes this book so compelling, bestows on it a kind of grace that allows, in the end, for no villains.
Everything Inside: Stories by Edwidge Danticat (Knopf)
Edwidge Danticat has been one of America’s most vital authors of fiction since the publication of her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, in 1994. In her work, she’s explored themes including family, loss and identity with sensitivity and subtlety, crafting characters who always seem real, sometimes painfully so.
She continues that trend in Everything Inside, a gorgeous short story collection that puts on display her keen insight into the needs and desires of people forced to reckon with difficult circumstances.
The eight stories in this book explore lives upended by loss. “In the Old Days” focuses on a teacher, Nadia, who travels to Miami to visit her dying father, whom she’s never actually met. Danticat beautifully examines how it feels to lose something you’ve never really had — she portrays Nadia’s loss in a heartbreakingly realistic way, never resorting to pathos or sentimentality.
In “The Port-au-Prince Marriage Special,” Danticat follows Mélisande, a Haitian nanny in her early twenties who learns that she’s dying of AIDS. Her mother reacts to her diagnosis with a cruelty that masks her concern, and a doctor that she sees for treatment turns out to be a quack who prescribes her placebos. The story’s ending is harsh but lifelike; Danticat doesn’t shy away from the cruelty of everyday life.
The book’s standout story, “Sunrise, Sunset,” tells the story of Carole, a woman suffering from dementia, and her daughter, Jeanne, who’s dealing with postpartum depression after the birth of her child. Danticat expertly portrays the fraught relationship between the two, and ends with a powerful, and stunningly sad, moment of reckoning.
Every story in this collection showcases Danticat’s empathy and love for her characters, which never gets in the way of her commitment to realism — there are no forced happy endings, no unearned deliverances. The world, she seems to say, is unrelentingly harsh, which makes the rare moments of joy her characters experience all the more precious. Everything Inside is a stunning book, the best of Danticat’s remarkable career, and one of the best short story collections to be published in America in recent years.
No matter who you are, or what you have read before, I can guarantee you that you have not read anything like Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic. To say that you “read” it doesn’t even seem accurate to the experience of the book. You encounter her language like you encounter a strange object, the contours of which you aren’t able to trace just yet, not without returning to it again and again, settling into its peculiar curves. Tumarkin’s achievement is that she makes phenomena we have become overly familiar with — not just language, but also gun violence, genocide, persistent structural poverty — wholly unfamiliar, unsettling our assumptions about how trauma and the histories that shape our lives are transmitted.
In a time when our conversation around trauma has stagnated, circling around the notion that to be traumatized is to be stuck in place, or doomed to repeat history’s greatest tragedies, Tumarkin demands that we look closer at the lives of those we call “survivors.” By examining these lives — including her own — Tumarkin transforms the way we talk about history’s role in shaping our present. “How to speak of this beforeness?” she wonders. “How to speak of things passed on if they are not histories and habits so much as structures of feeling, also if its unclear who or what is doing the passing on, plus why? Cycles of abuse. Cycles of poverty. Intergenerational transmission of trauma. Sorry, no can do, I tried and the words stuck in my throat.” She examines current discourse on trauma and violence — and finds it completely lacking. Axiomatic is her astonishing attempt to reinvigorate that discourse, starting with the very language we use to discuss it. It is the most innovative, thrilling, daring work of criticism I read last year.
Andrew Ervin reviewed four books about WWII espionage for the NY Times Book Review and interviewed Amber Sparks about her new book And I Do Not Forgive You for Untoward.
Sarah Neilson reviewed Jake Skeets’s Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers for the Believer; she also interviewed Jenn Shapland about My Autobiography of Carson McCullers for Bookforum and Lidia Yuknavitch about Verge for Cascadia Magazine.
Tobias Carroll wrote about Michael Zapata’s The Lost Book of Adana Moreau at Tor.com and reviewed Garth Greenwell’s Cleanness for Ron Slate’s On the Seawall.
NBCC Board member Victoria Chang reviewed Rick Barot’s book of poems, The Galleons, for On the Seawall.
Debby Bacharach reviewed Sandra Yannone’s poetry collection Boats for Woman for New Letters.
Member Joan Frank has two books coming out this month: Try to Get Lost: Essays on Travel and Place from Univ. of New Mexico Press and Where You’re All Going, a quartet of novellas, from Sarabande.
NBCC member Katherine Hill’s book with Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, and Jill Richards, The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism, was reviewed by Katy Waldman for The New Yorker and Jennifer Wilson for The New Republic. An excerpt of Katherine’s portion of The Ferrante Letters appeared in The Paris Review under the title “The Elena Ferrante in My Head.”
W. Scott Olsen interviewed Manolis Moresopoulos, Director of the Athens Photo Festival, for LensCulture.com.
Mark Athitakis is journalist and critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Virginia Quarterly Review, Humanities, and numerous other publications. He is the author of The New Midwest (Belt Publishing), a critical survey of contemporary fiction from the region. He lives in Phoenix. His current term on the board ends in 2020.
Anjali Enjeti’s articles, essays, and book reviews have appeared in Al Jazeera, The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, The Atlantic, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction in the MFA program at Reinhardt University, lives near Atlanta, and can be found on Twitter @anjalienjeti. Her current term on the board ends in 2020.
Lori Feathers is a freelance book critic who lives in Dallas, Texas. Her reviews and features are published in several online and print publications including The Los Angeles Review of Books, Words Without Borders, The Rumpus, Full Stop, World Literature Today, and Rain Taxi. She is a fiction judge for the Best Translated Book Award, and is a co-owner and the book buyer at Interabang Books in Dallas. Her current term on the board ends in 2020.
Mary Ann Gwinn is a regular contributor to the Seattle Times’ Weekly Lit Life Column and reviews for Booklist, Newsday and other publications. She won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for coverage of the Exxon Valdez disaster and was one of three jurors for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. She’s on Twitter at @gwinnma. Her term on the NBCC board ends in 2020.
Tess Taylor’s chapbook of poems, The Misremembered World, was selected by Eavan Boland and published by the Poetry Society of America. Her poetry and nonfiction have since appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Times Literary Supplement, and The New Yorker. The San Francisco Chronicle called her first book,The Forage House, “stunning” and it was a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award. Her second book, Work and Days, was named one of the year’s 10 best books of poetry by the New York Times. Tess is on air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered, and is is currently the Distinguished Fulbright in residence at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre of Queens University Belfast. Her term on the NBCC board ends in 2020.
Jessica Loudis is an editor and writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, and many other fine literary outlets. She has been an editor at Bookforum, Al Jazeera, and Conjunctions, and was the founding editor of the book review website Idiom. Her NBCC term ends in 2020.
John McWhorter teaches linguistics, philosophy and music history at Columbia University. He writes for Time, CNN, the Atlantic and various publications on language and on race issues, and is the author of Words on the Move, Doing Our Own Thing, Losing the Race, The Language Hoax, The Power of Babel, and other books. He has authored four audiovisual sets on language for the Teaching Company and spoken at TED twice. He also does Slate’s language podcast Lexicon Valley. His current term on the Board ends in 2020.
Walton Muyumba is a writer and critic. His essays and reviews have appeared in Oxford American, The Crisis, NPR Books, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He’s the author of The Shadow and the Act: Black Intellectual Practice, Jazz Improvisation, and Philosophical Pragmatism (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2009). He is an associate professor of American and African Diaspora literature in the English Department at Indiana University-Bloomington. His term on the NBCC board ends in 2020.
Victoria Chang’s fourth book of poems, Barbie Chang, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2017. The Boss (McSweeney’s) won The PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Other books are Salvinia Molesta and Circle. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship in 2017, along with the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award. She is a contributing editor of Copper Nickel and a poetry editor at Tupelo Quarterly. She teaches at Antioch University’s MFA program in Los Angeles. You can find her at www.victoriachangpoet.com. Her current term on the board ends in 2021.
Charles Finch is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Last Enchantments and The Woman in the Water. He is a regular critic for the New York Times, Slate, USA Today, and the Washington Post, and received the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. He lives in Los Angeles. His current term on the NBCC board ends in 2021.
Ismail Muhammad is a writer and critic based in Oakland, California, where he’s a staff writer for the Millions, contributing editor at ZYZZYVA Literary Magazine, and Ph.D. candidate in English at U.C. Berkeley. His writing has appeared in Slate, the Paris Review, the New Republic, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications. You can and find him on Twitter @trapmotives. His current term on the board ends in 2021.
Katherine A. Powers is a freelance critic and the recipient of the 2013 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. She is the editor of “Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story of Family Life: The Letters of J.F. Powers, 1942-1963” (FSG, 2013). Her term on the NBCC board ends in 2021.
Kerri Arsenault is a columnist at LitHub.com, and her work has appeared various publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, American Book Review, Kirkus, and Freeman’s. She is currently working on a book about Maine (Picador, 2019) where she is from. She received her MFA in Nonfiction Creative Writing from The New School. Literary Tweets @kerriarsenault. Her current term on the Board ends in 2021.
Gregg Barrios is a playwright, poet, and journalist. He is a 2013 USC Annenberg Getty Fellow, and serves on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. He was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters this year. He is the 2015 Fall Visiting Writer at Our Lady of the Lake University. His work has appeared in Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, Film Quarterly, San Francisco Chronicle, and Andy Warhol’s Interview. He is a former book editor of the San Antonio Express-News. He has received a CTG-Mark Taper Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Grant, and a 2013 Artist Foundation Grant for his theater work. His play Ship of Fools about Texas writer Katherine Anne Porter premieres this year in San Antonio’s Overtime Theater. He is collaborating with actor and filmmaker James Franco on a book of his experimental work in poetry and film. His current term on the board ends in 2021.
Elizabeth Taylor, co-editor of The National Book Review and Literary Editor at Large of the Chicago Tribune, has served as President of the NBCC. The co-author of “American Pharaoh,” she edited both the Books and Sunday Magazine sections of the Chicago Tribune, and was a national correspondent for Time magazine, based in New York and then Chicago. Her term on the NBCC board ends in 2021.
Kate Tuttle is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to the Boston Globe, for whom she writes a weekly column. Her reviews and essays have also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, New York Times, Salon, and Dame magazine. She can be found on twitter at @katekilla. Her term on the NBCC board ends in 2021.
Laurie Hertzel is the senior editor for books at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the author of a memoir, “News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist,” published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2010 and winner of a Minnesota Book Award. Her work has appeared in Tri-Quarterly, the Chicago Tribune, Minnesota Monthly magazine, and many other publications in the United States, Finland, and Australia. She has an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. Hertzel teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Her current term on the NBCC board ends in 2022.
Carolyn Kellogg is a writer and critic. She is the former Books Editor of the Los Angeles Times, where she launched the slate of literary Critics at Large, and is an award-winning culture writer. Her work has been published widely. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama and can be found on Twitter @paperhaus.
Michael Schaub is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor to NPR, The Los Angeles Times, and Men’s Journal. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and other publications. He lives in Austin, Texas. His current term on the NBCC board ends in 2022.
Madeleine Schwartz has written for The London Review of Books, The Guardian, Harper’s, Politico, Artforum, and The New York Review of Books, where she worked as an editor for several years. Her writing has been supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation.
Longtime All Things Considered commentator (1991-2006) Marion Winik is the host of The Weekly Reader radio show and podcast. She reviews books for Newsday, People, Kirkus Review and other venues. She is the author of First Comes Love, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead and seven other books. Her monthly column at BaltimoreFishbowl.com has received the “Best Column” and “Best Humorist” awards from Baltimore Magazine, and her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun and many other publications. She is a professor in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore. More info at marionwinik.com. Her current term on the Board ends in 2022.
Carlin Romano is critic-at-large of The Chronicle of Higher Education and Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Ursinus College. His current term on the NBCC board term ends in 2022.
Hope Wabuke is the author of the chapbooks Movement No. 1: Trains and The Leaving. She is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Barbara Deming Memorial Foundation. A National Book Critics Circle board member, she is an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln