Announcing the finalists for the 2019 NBCC Awards

The board of the National Book Critics Circle announces the finalists for its 2019 awards in six categories: Autobiography, Biography, Criticism, Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry. The winners will be announced at a celebration on March 12 in New York.

In addition, today the recipients of three annual honors, the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award and the John Leonard Award for First Book are announced — they can be found below the finalists.


Five Days Gone: The Mystery of My Mother’s Disappearance as a Child by Laura Cumming (Scribner)

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow (Little, Brown)

Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman (W. W. Norton)

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob (One World)

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller (Viking)


Gods of the Upper Air: How A Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century by Charles King (Doubleday)

The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth by Josh Levin (Little, Brown)

L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated “Female Byron” by Lucasta Miller (Knopf)

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer (Knopf)

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell (Viking)


Go Ahead in the Rain by Hanif Abdurraqib (University of Texas Press)

Essays One by Lydia Davis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval by Saidiya Hartman (W.W. Norton)

Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018 by Peter Schjeldahl (Abrams)

Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin (Transit Books)


Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat (Knopf)

Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg (Scribner)

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (Knopf)

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)


Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future by Kate Brown (W.W. Norton)

The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution by Peter Hessler (Penguin Press)

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe (Doubleday)

Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men’s Lives by Walt Odets (irFarrar, Straus and Giroux)

No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder (Bloomsbury)


The Tradition by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)

Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky (Graywolf Press)

Magical Negro by Morgan Parker (Tin House)

Dunce by Mary Ruefle (Wave Books)

Doomstead Days by Brian Teare (Nightboat Books)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing is an annual award recognizing outstanding work by a member of the NBCC. The citation is awarded in honor of Nona Balakian, a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle, and comes with a cash prize of $1,000 funded by board member Gregg Barrios. The winner of the 2019 Balakian Prize is Katy Waldman.

The Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement

The Sandrof Award is given to a person or institution — a writer, publisher, critic, or editor, among others — who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture. The recipient of the 2019 Sandrof Award is  Naomi Shihab Nye.

The John Leonard Award for Best First Book

The 2019 John Leonard Prize for Best First Book, which is selected by the organization’s membership, goes to The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom, published by Grove.

The awards

The NBCC awards will be presented March 12, 2020 at the New School in New York City. They are preceded by a finalists’ reading on March 11. Both events are free and open to the public.

Those who want to support the NBCC are invited to join winners, finalists and critics at our fundraising reception after the prizes on March 12. Tickets are available here.

NBCC elects new board members

We are pleased to announce the new board members of the National Book Critics Circle. The 24 member board sees 8 members rotate off each year and new members are elected to fill those places. This year, 26 candidates stood for election — thanks to all who participated, and to the membership for voting.

The new members will join the board in March 2020, after the 2019 awards, and will serve until 2023.

Here, in alphabetical order, are the nine new or re-elected members of the board. (Because former president Kate Tuttle will be stepping down after this year’s term, we are welcoming the top nine vote-getters rather than the usual eight.) Congratulations to all.

Jacob Appel is a writer, teacher and critic whose focus is on independent presses. He joins the board for the first time.

Colette Bancroft is the book editor of the Tampa Bay Times in Tampa, Florida and a veteran of the NBCC. 

Jane Ciabattari is a book columnist based in Northern California. A former president of the NBCC, she has served in many capacities at the organization. 

Lori Feathers returns to the board for a second term. She is a freelance book critic and co-owner of Interabang Books in Dallas, Texas.  

Megan Labrise, editor at large for Kirkus Reviews, is a writer and critic based in Portland, Oregon. She joins the board for the first time.

Jessica Loudis returns to the board for a second term. She is an editor and writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the London Review of Books and elsewhere.

John McWhorter returns to the board for a second term. He teaches at Columbia University and writes for Time, CNN and the Atlantic and has a podcast at Slate. 

Connie Ogle is on staff at the Miami Herald, where she was books editor. She joins the board for the first time.

Richard Santos is a critic and teacher in Austin, Texas. His debut novel will be published in 2020 by Arte Publico Press, and he joins the board for the first time.

Say goodbye to 2019 with these last book reviews

Image by Pursuedbybear via Flickr

Clea Simon picked the 10 best YA books of the year, and also wrote about the  YA trend of writing about gender and sexuality, both for the Boston Globe.

Tobias Carroll selected the best music books of the year for Pitchfork and highlighted new works in translation at Words without Borders.

Readers of Laurie Hertzel’s weekly Bookmark column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune weighed in on whether or not it is OK to write in books. Some said never, some said sometimes, and at least one said it is not only encouraged, it is required. Hertzel, who is the NBCC board president, also wrote about Stefano Bloch’s memoir, Going All City.

Sarah Neilson asked LGBTQIA+-identified authors for their recommend queer reads for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

W. Scott Olsen reviewed actor Jeff Bridge’s new photo book, Pictures: Volume Two, for

Pam Munter published her final monthly nonfiction book review, of Bob Iger’s Ride of a Lifetime, for Fourth and Sycamore which is based at a library in Ohio, ending a nearly four year run.


Member Alma H. Bond’s book Meryl Streep: On the Couch was published by Bancroft Press on Dec. 3.

C.M. Mayo interviewed Barbara Crooker about her latest book of poetry, Some Glad Morning, at her Madam Mayo blog.

Meredith Sue Willis updated her newsletter, Books for Readers.

Holiday week book reviews from the NBCC

Holiday lights by cisc1970 via Flickr.

Michelle Newby Lancaster reviewed Christmas in Austin by Benjamin Markovits for Lone Star Literary Life.

Erika Dreifus hosted the Dec. 15 Jewish Book Carnival, a project of the Association of Jewish Libraries, on her blog My Machberet.

Donna Miscolta reviewed Staten Island Stories by Claire Jimenez for the Seattle Review of Books.

Linda Levitt reviewed Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey for Spectrum Culture and Sharon Marcus’  June book from Princeton University Press, The Drama of Celebrity, for PopMatters.

Tobias Carroll reviewed Jakarta by Rodrigo Marquez Tizano for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and wrote about optimistic nature writing for LitHub.

Kelly Flynn reviewed Mona Awad’s Bunny in the Adroit Journal.

Collin Huber wrote about his 12 favorite books of the year for Fathom Magazine.

Yvonne C. Garrett reviewed Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea for The Brooklyn Rail.

Peggy Kurkowski reviewed The Puritans: A Transatlantic History by David D. Hall for Open Letters Review.

Amy Weldon reviewed Sarah Broom’s The Yellow House for Orion Magazine.

Natalia Holtzman wrote about J.W. Mohnhaupt’s The Zookeepers’ War for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Dave Altman reviewed Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys in the Pickens County (Ga.) Progress.

Elaine Szewczyk interviewed Bess Kalb about her 2020 book, No One Will Tell You This But Me, for Publishers Weekly.

Grace Lichtenstein reviewed Tom Rosenstein’s Oppo in the NY Journal of Books.

NBCC Emerging Critic Blue Tarpalechee published his first review, of Incarcerated Stories: Indigenous Women Migrants and Violence in the Settler-Capitalist State by Shannon Speed and Alison Hargreaves’ Violence Against Indigenous Women: Literature, Activism, Resistance, in Transmotion.

Former NBCC president Jane Ciabattari interviewed four authors at Bookmarks Reviews: Liesl Schillinger, Lars Iyer, Alan Furst and Nina McLaughlin.

Other member news:

The blog Wordsmith’s posted an interview by Hélène Cardona with poet John Ashbery, who died in 2017.

Christoph Irmscher published an essay on on the architectural photography of Charlie Bidwell at Od Review.

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

News and reviews from the National Book Critics Circle

Welcome to the latest in news and reviews from the National Book Critics Circle.

Heller McAlpin reviewed biographer Deirdre Bair’s Parisian Lives for the Wall Street Journal.

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom was reviewed by Collette Bancroft for the Tampa Bay Times and Danielle A. Jackson for Bookforum.

Chelsea Leu reviewed Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer for the NY Times Book Review.

Tobias Carroll wrote about a trio of recent novels blending science fiction and crime fiction elements for Mystery Tribune and reviewed Alia Trabucco Zerán’s novel The Remainder for the Minneapolis StarTribune.

Julia M. Klein reviewed Annette Hess’s The German House for the Boston Globe and wrote about Jennifer M. Morton and her book, Moving Up Without Losing Your Way for the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Jenny Shank reviewed Maureen Stanton’s Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood for America Magazine.

Jeremy Lybarger reviewed Beautiful Aliens: A Steve Abbott Reader, edited by Jamie Townsend, for 4Columns.

Kathleen Rooney wrote about Walter Benton for the Poetry Foundation.

Jeffrey Mannix reviewed The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen in his Murder Ink column for the Durango Telegraph.

NBCC president Laurie Hertzel reviewed a roundup of books on gardening and home decor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where she is senior editor for books. (The book on elaborate bedrooms is particularly eye-popping.)

Jim Ruland talked to Tommy Pico about the success of There, There for the Los Angeles Times.

Jocelyn McClurg talked to Joseph Kanton about The Accomplice and Michael Crummey about The Innocents for Kirkus.

Eric Nguyen reviewed Bright by Duanwad Pimwana, translated by Mui Poopoksakul, for Spectrum Culture.

Drew Bratcher talked to M. Randal O’Wain about his memoir, Meander Belt: Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working-Class South for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Rob Kaiser-Schatzlein caught us up on his October reviews: The Tyranny of Economists and  How To Break Up Corporate Giants at the New Republic and  The Financialized Family  at The Baffler.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell reviewed Staten Island Stories by Claire Jimenez for the New York Journal of Books.

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed  Adrienne Brodeur’s memoir Wild Game:  My Mother, Her Lover, and Me for the Washington Independent Review of Books.


NBCC Emerging Critic Rochelle Spencer’s book AfroSurrealism: The African Diaspora’s Surrealist Fiction will be published by Routledge on Dec. 20.

Martha Anne Toll published a personal essay in The Lily at the Washington Post and contributed to NPR’s book concierge.

W. Scott Olsen interviewed Paul Moakley, Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME magazine, for

Image via madame.furie via Flickr.

Run for the board, submit for the Balakian and a heap of reviews

Tegan and Sara, whose memoir is “High School.” Photo MCD/FSG.

Tegan and Sara want you to run for the National Book Critics Circle board or submit to be considered for our excellence in reviewing prize. Now’s the time.

Join the NBCC board — nominate yourself by Dec. 6!

The NBCC’s membership elects eight members to join its 24-person board of directors each year. If you are interested in running for the board, please send a short bio and statement of intent (no more than 300 words total) to VP Membership Anjali Enjeti by 5 p.m. ET Dec 6. Board candidates must be NBCC members in good standing to run. (Learn more about membership and join the NBCC.) Read our primer on the NBCC board’s work to learn more about what’s involved.

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: Submit by December 9!

The NBCC awards the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing each year to recognize outstanding work by a member of the NBCC. The citation is awarded in honor of Nona Balakian, a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle. Since 2012, the Balakian Citation has carried with it a $1,000 cash prize donated by board member Gregg Barrios. Nominees for the Balakian Award must be NBCC members in good standing, and may submit up to 5 book reviews for a total of 5,000 words.  The deadline is Monday, December 9; guidelines are here.

And for this week’s reviews and more:

Sarah Neilson spoke to Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara about their memoir High School for BOMB magazine, rounded up 13 books about complicated families  for Buzzfeed, and reviewed Lindy West’s latest essay collection, The Witches Are Coming, for the Seattle Times.

In the Chicago Tribune, Kathleen Rooney wrote about Bette Howland, the  Chicago writer who was almost forgotten but now will not be, thanks to the 2019 book Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage.

For the Wall Street Journal’s holiday issue, Christoph Irmscher wrote about science books, specifically Bill Bryson’s The Body: A Guide for Occupants, Jack Hartnell’s Medieval Bodies, John Gurche’s Lost Anatomies and Anatomy: Exploring the Human Body from Phaidon.

At the New Republic, Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein reviewed Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy by Matt Stoller.

At The Millions, Kevin Blankinship looked at trends in Arab literature.

At the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Steve Paul reviewed Carol Sklenicka’s Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer.

At the Los Angeles Review of Books, former NBCC emerging critic Natalia Holtzman wrote about Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal and his dozens of cats.

At the National Book Review, former NBCC emerging critic Paul Gleason reviewed Michel Houellebecq’s new novel Serotonin.

Jessica Q. Stark wrote about Stefania Heim’s Hour Book in the Fall print issue of The Carolina Quarterly.

David R. Altman reviewed Ann Lamott’s Hallelujah Anyway and Jane Harper’s Force of Nature for the Pickens County Progress in Georgia and considered the dilemma of holiday book giving in the Braselton (Ga.) News.

Dana Wilde reviewed North by Northeast: New Short Fiction by Writers 
from Maine and New England for The Working Waterfront (and wrote about environmental melancholia there in September) and also reviewed Jacqueline Moore’s Chasing the Grass: Poems for Central Maine Newspapers.

NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg wrote about Nell Zink’s Doxology for the Chicago Tribune and Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts for the L.A. Times.

NBCC president Laurie Hertzel reviewed Michael Korda’s memoir of his wife’s death, Passing, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where she is senior editor for books. She also wrote her weekly Bookmark column about reader response to the question of whether–in light of the recent Nobel Prize for literature–books should be judged independently of their writers. Using Oscar Wilde as an example, most readers who responded said yes.

And still more member news:

At her blog, C.M. Mayo interviewed Bruce Berger about his essay collection A Desert Harvest.

Jessica Q. Stark will be the assistant poetry editor for AGNI and will publish a poetry collection, Savage Pageant, with Birds LLC next year.

Diane Sharper’s poem “Tree of Life” appeared in America Magazine in November.

Andre Aciman, Edison, queer literature and more new reviews

The latest reviews, interviews and more from our members this week.

Clea Simon reviewed Andre  Aciman’s Find Me , the follow-up to Call Me by Your Name, for the Boston Globe.

Rien Fertel reviewed Paul Freedman’s American Cuisine for the Wall Street Journal and Zadie Smith’s Grand Union for the A.V. Club.

NBCC board member Mark Athitakis reviewed Shannon Pufahl’s debut novel, On Swift Horses, for the Los Angeles Times.

Nathan S. Weber wrote about Opioid, Indiana by Brian Allen Carr for the Daily Beast.

Kevin O’Rourke reviewed two poetry collections: Timothy Donnelly’s The Problem of the Many at the LA Review of Books and Bohumil Hrabal’s All My Cats in the Michigan Quarterly Review.

Sarah Neilson rounded up 11 anticipated queer books for Electric Literature and reviewed Gabby Rivera’s YA novel Juliet Takes a Breath for the LA Review of Books.

Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviewed Rajia Hassib’s A Pure Heart for the LA Review of Books and Older Brother by Mahir Guven for Popmatters.

For diaCRITICS, Eric Nguyen interviewed Monique Truong about her novel The Sweetest Fruits.

Ellen Wayland-Smith reviewed Rachel Monroe’s Savage Appetites for the LA Review of Books.

Kirk Walsh came up with 100 Texas-centric books for Texas Highways to coincide with the Texas Book Festival.

For the San Francisco Chronicle, Alexis Burling did a joint review of Last of Her Name by Mimi Lok and The Beadworkers by Beth Piatote, and separately reviewed Jeanette Winterson’s Frankisstein. Alexis also talked to Sarah Valentine about her memoir When I Was White for the Chicago Tribune.

Patricia Schultheis reviewed The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy at the   Washington Independent Review of Books.

Tobias Carroll talked to Deborah Levy at Longreads. He also wrote about Edison by Edmund Morris for Inside Hook, where he also talked to Kevin Wilson about his new novel Nothing to See Here. At, he reviewed Benjamin Percy’s Suicide Woods and Stefan Spjut’s Trolls. Additionally, he interviewed MCD executive editor Daphne Durham for Vol. 1 Brooklyn and wrote about Stephen Crane and Asbury Park for Literary Hub.

Michael J. McCann reviewed Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carré and The Night Fire by Michael Connelly for the New York Journal of Books.

Brian Haman reviewed Wang Anyi’s novel Wu Ping for the Asian Review of Books.

Shoba Viswanathan interviewed Sujatha Gidla about her 2017 book Ants Among Elephants for Bloom.

And in more member news:

On Nov. 5, Elaine Szewczyk will interview Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea live on stage for the launch of his memoir Acid for the Children at Powerhouse Area in Brooklyn.

The anthology The Peanuts Papers, edited by member Andrew Blauner, has just been published by the Library of America.

Joan Frank’s forthcoming essay collection Try To Get Lost was reviewed by Publishers Weekly and got a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

C.M. Mayo interviewed Sergio Tronocoso about his short story collection, A Peculiar Immigrant’s Son, at her blog.

On her blog Picking Books, Laura Sandonato wrote about Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

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

Photo: Armie Hammer  and Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics).

The Nobel Prizes, Elizabeth Strout, Edwidge Danticat and more

Nobel Prize

NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg wrote about the Nobel Prizes in Literature, awarded to Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke, at the Chicago Tribune. Kellogg also talked to Jeanette Winterson about her novel Frankissstein at the Los Angeles Times.

Joan Frank reviewed Elizabeth Strout’s Olive, Again for the Washington Post. Priscilla Gilman reviewed Strout’s Olive, Again for the Boston Globe. And Ellen Prentiss Campbell reviewed Olive, Again for Fiction Writers Review.

At his site On the Seawall, Ron Slate reviewed Edwidge Danticat’s story collection Everything Inside.

NBCC board member Mark Athitakis reviewed Sontag by Ben Moser for Ron Slate’s On the Seawall.

Also at On the Seawall, Lisa Russ Spaar reviewed two poetry collections: Eyes Bottle Dark With a Mouthful of Flowers by Jake Skeets and Father’s Day by Matthew Zapruder.

For Bookforum, former NBCC emerging critic Natalia Holtzman wrote about the reissue of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s 1948 novel The Corner That Held Them.

Jocelyn McClurgh reviewed Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House for Newsday and interviewed Jeffrey Archer for Kirkus.

Hamilton Cain reviewed Chanel Miller’s memoir Know My Name for the November issue of O, the Oprah Magazine.

Tim Riley reviewed the book Country Music, a companion to Ken Burns’ series, for truthdig.

Claude Peck reviewed the novel Girl by Edna O’Brien for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Tobias Carroll wrote about Kevin Barry’s fiction for CrimeReads, talked to Marc Hamer about his book How to Catch a Mole at Longreads,  talked to Victor Lavalle at Guernica, recommended new translated literature at Words without Borders and wrote about two Western-set novels at Mystery Tribune.

Peggy Kurkowski reviewed Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866-1896 by Charles Postel at Open Letters Review.

Jeffrey Mannix reviewed the mystery Stolen Things by R.H. Herron For Colorado’s Durango Telegraph.

Lanie Tankard reviewed Anita Felicelli’s novel Chimerica for the Woven Tale Press.

Kathleen Rooney talked to Jesse Ball at the Chicago Tribune and Paige Lewis at the Poetry Foundation.

C.M. Mayo’s talked to Cliff Garstang about his new novel, The Shaman of Turtle Valley, at her Madam Mayo blog.

Melanie Dragger reviewed On the Plain of Snakes by Paul Theroux for the Literary West.

Michael J. McCann reviewed The Best American Mystery Stories 2019 for the New York Journal of Books.

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

New reviews and more from our members

The NY Public Library.

If you’re reading this online you have probably noticed that our website looks a little different. It’s thanks to a few changes behind the scenes that we’re really excited about. Those reading the newsletter won’t see any difference, but if you’re a member, swing by, log in and create your own page in our membership directory. It’s a great way to share your latest criticism and other news all in one place.

Now, on to the latest from our members.

Clea Simon reviewed Emma Donoghue’s new novel Akin for the Boston Globe.

Christoph Irmscher reviewed Patrick Mauriès’ Cabinets of Curiosities for the Wall Street Journal.

Martha Anne Toll reviewed Aarti Namdev Shahani’s memoir Here We Are for NPR Books.

Paul Wilner reviewed Matthew Zapruder’s new poetry collection Father’s Day for Alta Journal.

NBCC board member David Varno reviewed Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, translated by Frank Wynne, for Orion Magazine.

Former NBCC president Tom Beer wrote about reading a short story every day for Kirkus Reviews, where he is editor-in-chief.

Jane Ciabattari, another former NBCC president,  recommends 10 October books at the BBC.

Former NBCC Emerging Critic Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers reviewed Lara Vapnyar’s Divide Me By Zero for Foreward Reviews.

Former NBCC board member and Balakian Prize recipient Steven G. Kallman reviews the 944-page Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas by Stephen Harrigan for the Texas Observer.

Kathleen Rooney reviewed of Kate Wisel’s short story collection Driving in Cars with Homeless Men  for the Chicago Tribune.

John Glassie reviewed Paul Hendrickson’s Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright for the Washington Post.

Ellen Akins reviewed Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry for the Washington Post and Anne Patchett’s The Dutch House for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Tara Cheesman reviewed The Ticking Heart by Andrew Kaufman for Barrelhouse Review and Sergio Chejfec’s The Incompletes, translated by Heather Cleary, for Ron Slate’s On the Seawall.

Kamil Ahsan reviewed Anne Serre’s The Fool and Other Moral Tales for Nylon and Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School for the AV Club.

Zack Graham reviewed Lerner’s The Topeka School at Epiphany.

John Domini reviewed Jokha Alharthi’s Celestial Bodies, translated by Marilyn Booth, for the Brooklyn Rail.

Allen Adams reviewed three books at The Maine Edge: The Divers’ Game by Jesse Ball, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Full Throttle by Joe Hill.

Diane Scharper reviewed three memoirs together for the National Catholic Reporter: Inconvenient Memories by Anna Wang, The Farmer’s Son by John Connell, and Knitting the Fog by Claudia D. Hernández.

Yvonne Garrett reviewed two novels together for the Brooklyn Rail: Nell Zink’s Doxology and Suzette Haden Elgin’s Native Tongue.

Sarah Neilson wrote about fall books by LGBTQ writers for, recommended fall memoirs at Buzzfeed, and interviewed Leslie Jamison about Make It Scream, Make It Burn for LARB.

Jean Huets reviewed Brian Evenson’s horror story collection, Song for the Unraveling World, at Kenyon Review.

Michael J. McCann reviewed Craig Johnson’s new Longmire novel, Land of Wolves, for the New York Journal of Books.

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed Kate Atkinson’s 2018 novel Transcription and Stephen Chbosky’s new novel Imaginary Friend in the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Joseph Peschel reviewed MacTrump, a mashup of Trump and Macbeth, for the Oregonian.

Michelle Newby Lancaster reviewed Ain’t Nobody Nobody by Heather Harper Ellett for Lone Star Literary Life.

Laura Sandonato reviewed Viktor E. Frankel’s 1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning for Picking Books.

Other member news:

Susan Henderson, a lifetime member of the NBCC, will spend the next month writing at the Hawthornden Castle in Scotland as part of a fellowship from the Drue Heinz Fund.

Page Hill Starzinger’s next poetry collection Vortex Street will be published by Barrow Street Press in spring 2020.

An interview Daniel Nester conducted in 1997 with Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun, who died in 2014, has been published in The Critical Flame.

John Domini was interviewed by David Dario Winner in the Millions, about his novel The Color Inside a Melon.

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


It’s October 9, 2019, and you’ll see that our site looks a bit different today. We’re excited that we’ve been able to make these initial cosmetic changes and updates. We’ve made even more changes behind the scenes to provide better services for our members.

NBCC members, you haven’t yet, be sure to log in and create your individual page in our membership directory.