NBCC Reads: What’s Your Favorite Book in Translation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer we’re asking NBCC members, finalists and award winners to write about a favorite book, in any genre, that's been translated into English. Tell us why you love the book (in 500 words or less) be it a new one, like Sayaka Murata’s quirky little novel, Convenience Store Woman, or something a bit older, such as Stefan Zweig’s evocative memoir, The World of Yesterday. Please email your submission to NBCC Board member Lori Feathers: lori@interabangbooks.com  (The NBCC Reads series draws upon the bookish passions of NBCC members and honorees; you can browse NBCC Reads series dating back to 2007, beginning with a post from former NBCC president John Freeman,  here.) 

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NBCC Reads: What’s Your Favorite Book in Translation?

June 12, 2018, length:

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NBCC/Zyzzyva Cocktail Party June 28


Please join us for the eighth annual National Book Critics Circle/Zyzzyva cocktail party, hosted by NBCC VP/Online and former President Jane Ciabattari and Zyzzyva's Editor in Chief Laura Cogan and Managing Editor (and former NBCC board member) Oscar Villalon. Join us for literary conversation and toasts, and celebrate our new Alan Cheuse Emerging Critics program, named in honor of the late critic Alan Cheuse. The Bay Area's Emerging Critics include Heather Scott Partington, Ismael Muhammad (who also is a new NBCC board member), from Year 1, and from Year 2, Chelsea Leu and Jonathan Leal. We had 140 entries this year.

When: Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 6 pm.

Where: The Mechanics Institute building, 57 Post Street, Suite 604, San Francisco, CA

RSVP: janeciab@gmail.com

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NBCC/Zyzzyva Cocktail Party June 28

June 09, 2018, length:

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NBCC at Book Expo America: Julia M. Klein on the Crisis in Book Reviewing

NBCC member Julia M. Klein’s talk for a Book Expo America panel on May 30 on “The Crisis in Book Reviewing: Disappearing Space, Disappearing Pay." (Below, NBCC President Kate Tuttle, Doubleday editor Gerald Howard, Julia M. Klein.

I see what we’re calling “The Crisis in Book Reviewing” as a subset of the larger crisis afflicting both journalism and freelancing. There are special factors affecting arts journalism and book criticism, but first I want to paint the broader picture to show just how intractable the problems are.

We all know there’s a business model problem and a shrinkage of space in print outlets. But there’s been a growth in digital outlets, which often pay either nothing or really nominal rates to writers. But print rates, too, have fallen significantly over the past two or three decades and longer.

I’ve found a couple of very good articles that make the point. ...

Drumroll, Please: Announcing the New NBCC Emerging Critics

We're delighted to announce the NBCC Emerging Critics: July 1, 2018-July 1, 2019.

This year’s class of emerging critics are recognized by a fellowship named in honor of the late NPR critic Alan Cheuse. 

The Emerging Critics fellowship, launched last year,  seeks to identify, nurture, and support the development of the next generation of book critics.

ELIGIBILITY Critics of all ages who seek to review and write about books for print and digital outlets are eligible for the fellowship. Applicants may or may not have previously published book reviews.

THE FELLOWSHIP Over the course of the one-year fellowship, emerging critics will receive:

—An opportunity to partake in the ongoing conversation about the craft of reviewing, and ethical questions and concerns emerging as the publishing landscape changes.

—Active mentorship from members of NBCC board. This includes Skype sessions on topics including the craft of writing reviews, ethics and professionalism, the business ...

NBCC at Book Expo America:  The Crisis in Book Reviewing: Disappearing Space, Disappearing Pay

The Crisis in Book Reviewing: Disappearing Space, Disappearing Pay

Date: May 30, 2018,  12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

Location: Book Expo America, Jacob Javits Center: 1E10

Over the past 10 years, book-review sections in many American newspapers have  gone on life support. At least one major newspaper that once spent close to $100,000 annually on book reviews now budgets zero for book reviews. One result is that the same review often runs in more papers than ever before.  Do newer digital ventures make up for the print decline in either space or pay?

Panelists:

Christopher Carduff, Books Editor, The Wall Street Journal

Gerald Howard, Vice-President and Executive Editor, Doubleday

Julia M. Klein, Cultural Critic

Kate Tuttle, President, National Book Critics Circle and columnist, The Boston Globe

Moderator: Carlin Romano, Critic-at-Large, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vice President, NBCC, Author, America the Philosophical (Alfred A. Knopf)

 

NBCC ...

SAVE THE DATE: NBCC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MAY 30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please join us for this year's
National Book Critics Circle 
General Membership meeting

Wednesday, May 30
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. 
To be held at 20 Cooper Square, 5th floor
RSVP by May 27th, please. Send your RSVP to membership@bookcritics.org
Coffee and bagels will be provided
Afterwards, please join us at an NBCC panel at Book Expo America,
Javits Center, from 12 - 1 p.m. 

 

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SAVE THE DATE: NBCC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MAY 30

May 10, 2018, length:

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Join the NBCC to Celebrate Books: A Call for New and Renewing Members

Criticism has never been a more vital and necessary force than it is today. And since its founding in April of 1974, the National Book Critics Circle has worked to uplift, support, and celebrate the voices of book critics.  

I am writing today to invite you to join the NBCC or to renew your membership. There’s never been a better time to be part of our organization! Our annual calendar is busier and more exciting than ever, and our members’ contributions and support have been key factors to our success.

In March, we hold our NBCC finalists’ reading and awards ceremony in NYC where we celebrate the previous year’s outstanding books and authors. Both events are free and open to the public. After the awards ceremony, we hold a reception for the finalists (our only fundraiser) where members get discounted tickets. Check out this year’s finalists and winners on ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Elizabeth Taylor on Caroline Fraser’s ‘Prairie Fires’

 In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Elizabeth Taylor offers an appreciation of 'Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder' by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt).

 

In her extraordinary 'Prairie Fires,' Caroline Fraser has written a captivating biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose series of books—most famously Little House on the Prairie—captured self-sufficient pioneer life in a sepia tone. Wilder’s wildly popular “Little House” series was a “profound act of American myth-making and self-transformation” by a woman who had re-imagined her frontier life as epic and uplifting, with disappointment and loss transformed into parable.

Wilder projected her vision of the West and came to see herself as the embodiment of it. Reading about Wilder’s idyllic world where Pa’s business ...

30 Books in 30 Days: John McWhorter on Adam Rutherford’s A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member John McWhorter offers an appreciation of Adam Rutherford’s 'A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived' (The Experiment).

 

 

 

Books on what genes tell us about the story of humanity have not been especially rare over the past couple of decades, but Adam Rutherford’s 'A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived' is by no means a run of the mill entry in the genre. Rather, Rutherford, a talented popularizer renowned across the pond as a science documentary creator and host, manages to render the unravelling of the human genetic code as a multifaceted adventure. Nucleotides and introns, of all things, leave you reluctant to put the book down.

Rutherford reports on ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Michael Schaub on William Taubman’s ‘Gorbachev’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15, 2018 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Michael Schaub offers an appreciation of biography finalist William Taubman's 'Gorbachev: His Life and Times' (W.W. Norton & Company).

 

Of all the world leaders who left their mark on the 20th century, few were as influential and enigmatic as Mikhail Gorbachev, the communist leader whose progressive reforms led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He started his career as the Soviet communist party’s great hope; by the time his six-year term in office was over, the changes he spearheaded led to the (temporary, one could argue) democratization of Russia.

For years, observers of geopolitics have wondered what made the man tick — why did Gorbachev, a loyal communist since his childhood, ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Michael Schaub on William Taubman’s ‘Gorbachev’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15, 2018 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Michael Schaub offers an appreciation of biography finalist William Taubman's 'Gorbachev: His Life and Times' (W.W. Norton & Company).

 

Of all the world leaders who left their mark on the 20th century, few were as influential and enigmatic as Mikhail Gorbachev, the communist leader whose progressive reforms led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He started his career as the Soviet communist party’s great hope; by the time his six-year term in office was over, the changes he spearheaded led to the (temporary, one could argue) democratization of Russia.

For years, observers of geopolitics have wondered what made the man tick — why did Gorbachev, a loyal communist since his childhood, ...

SAVE THE DATE: NBCC at the Brooklyn Public Library: Criticism and Social Justice

Coming up March 20, 2018, the week after the NBCC awards ceremony:

Criticism & Social Justice

Tue, Mar 20 2018   7:30 pm – 9:30 pm   Central Library, Dweck Center

Arts and Culture Author Talks BPL Presents RSVP Co-Presented with the National Book Critics Circle.

Featuring the voices of some of its most acclaimed member-critics, the NBCC asks what it means to be a critic alongside a world in flux. Panelists include Ruth Franklin, who won last year's NBCC biography award for her Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, and contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s; Alexandra Schwartz of The New Yorker (Balakian winner), Rafia Zakaria, author of The Upstairs Wife, contributor to The New Republic, The New York Times, The Baffler, The Guardian and others; Yahdon Israel, Editor-in-Chief of Brooklyn Magazine and NBCC VP/Awards, and Jess Row, author ...

SAVE THE DATE: NBCC at the Brooklyn Public Library: Criticism and Social Justice

Coming up March 20, 2018, the week after the NBCC awards ceremony:

Criticism & Social Justice

Tue, Mar 20 2018   7:30 pm – 9:30 pm   Central Library, Dweck Center

Arts and Culture Author Talks BPL Presents RSVP Co-Presented with the National Book Critics Circle.

Featuring the voices of some of its most acclaimed member-critics, the NBCC asks what it means to be a critic alongside a world in flux. Panelists include Ruth Franklin, who won last year's NBCC biography award for her Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, and contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s; Alexandra Schwartz of The New Yorker (Balakian winner), Rafia Zakaria, author of The Upstairs Wife, contributor to The New Republic, The New York Times, The Baffler, The Guardian and others; Yahdon Israel, Editor-in-Chief of Brooklyn Magazine and NBCC VP/Awards, and Jess Row, author ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Yahdon Israel on Valeria Luiselli’s ‘Tell Me How It Ends’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15 announcement  of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Yahdon Israel offers an appreciation of criticism finalist Valeria Luiselli’s 'Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions' (Coffeehouse Press).

 

When I first read Valeria Luiselli’s 'Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions,' I couldn’t help but to think about a good friend of mine who’d recently become a U.S. citizen. We’d talked after, and he’d told me about the questions he had to answer to prove his citizenship. Questions like, “How many Representatives are in the House?” It was a terrifying question for me—and it wasn’t only because I didn’t know the answer. It was also because I knew, as a native-born U.S. citizen, my ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Yahdon Israel on Valeria Luiselli’s ‘Tell Me How It Ends’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15 announcement  of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Yahdon Israel offers an appreciation of criticism finalist Valeria Luiselli’s 'Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions' (Coffeehouse Press).

 

When I first read Valeria Luiselli’s 'Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions,' I couldn’t help but to think about a good friend of mine who’d recently become a U.S. citizen. We’d talked after, and he’d told me about the questions he had to answer to prove his citizenship. Questions like, “How many Representatives are in the House?” It was a terrifying question for me—and it wasn’t only because I didn’t know the answer. It was also because I knew, as a native-born U.S. citizen, my ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Yahdon Israel on Layli Long Soldier’s ‘Whereas’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15 announcement  of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Yahdon Israel offers an appreciation of poetry finalist Layli Long Soldier’s 'Whereas' (Graywolf) .

 

If there’s one line that articulates the unapologetic audacity of Layli Long Soldier’s 'Whereas,' it’s in her poem “38,” where she writes: “Everything is in the language we use.” When you read the line in the context of the poem in which it is written, a poem about the historical, political and cultural erasure of the “thirty-eight Dakota men who were executed by hanging, under orders from President Abraham Lincoln” the same week Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, you’ll realize that the word “everything,” doesn’t mean what it should.

But how do we make words mean what they should? Long ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Yahdon Israel on Layli Long Soldier’s ‘Whereas’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15 announcement  of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Yahdon Israel offers an appreciation of poetry finalist Layli Long Soldier’s 'Whereas' (Graywolf) .

 

If there’s one line that articulates the unapologetic audacity of Layli Long Soldier’s 'Whereas,' it’s in her poem “38,” where she writes: “Everything is in the language we use.” When you read the line in the context of the poem in which it is written, a poem about the historical, political and cultural erasure of the “thirty-eight Dakota men who were executed by hanging, under orders from President Abraham Lincoln” the same week Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, you’ll realize that the word “everything,” doesn’t mean what it should.

But how do we make words mean what they should? Long ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Michael Miller on Mohsin Hamid’s ‘Exit West’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15, 2018 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Michael Miller offers an appreciation of  Mohsin Hamid’s 'Exit West' (Riverhead).

 

Early in Mohsin Hamid's 'Exit West,' two young lovers, Nadia and Saeed, lie in bed and look at photographs of major cities (New York, Rio, Shanghai) that appear to be lit entirely by the stars in the sky above them. How are these images possible in the age of electricity and air pollution? Saeed explains: The photographer took pictures of cities, and also took pictures of the night sky in remote places where the constellations shine bright; the artist then created composites, placing vivid starry skies above the cityscapes. Nadia looks at the pictures and thinks: “Whether they looked like the past, or ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Bethanne Patrick on Henry Marsh’s ‘Admissions’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15, 2018 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Bethanne Patrick offers an appreciation of autobiography/memoir finalist Henry Marsh, 'Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon' (Thomas Dunne Books).

 

Henry Marsh, CBE, is a surgeon to be reckoned with by any means, but in his new, second memoir (the first, 'Do No Harm', was published in 2015), he demonstrates a quiet reckoning of his own. Mistakes, misunderstandings, losing relevancy within one's professional culture--it's all here, and it's detailed without neon lights or sad trombones. Marsh is veddy British, but allows his stiff upper lip to wobble a bit in stories about patients who don't survive and colleagues who won't bend. However, much of the book isn't about problems per se; instead it's about how mysterious Marsh ...

30 Books in 30 Days: Bethanne Patrick on Henry Marsh’s ‘Admissions’

In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15, 2018 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Bethanne Patrick offers an appreciation of autobiography/memoir finalist Henry Marsh, 'Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon' (Thomas Dunne Books).

 

Henry Marsh, CBE, is a surgeon to be reckoned with by any means, but in his new, second memoir (the first, 'Do No Harm', was published in 2015), he demonstrates a quiet reckoning of his own. Mistakes, misunderstandings, losing relevancy within one's professional culture--it's all here, and it's detailed without neon lights or sad trombones. Marsh is veddy British, but allows his stiff upper lip to wobble a bit in stories about patients who don't survive and colleagues who won't bend. However, much of the book isn't about problems per se; instead it's about how mysterious Marsh ...