Origins of Asperger’s in Nazi Vienna, Poetry by Hayes, Twemlow and Bland, and much more

Former NBCC board member Mark Athitakis interviewed Lydia Millet for the Barnes & Noble Review and Rebecca Makkai for Kirkus Reviews.

Michelle Bailat-Jones reviewed Katja Petrowskaja’s Maybe Esther (tr. Shelley Frisch) for Necessary Fiction. She also interviewed Frisch about the book’s translation for Necessary Fiction’s series, Translation Notes. 

Jenny Bhatt reviewed Arif Anwar's debut novel, The Storm, for Pop Matters. Her review of William Trevor's posthumously-published short story collection, Last Stories, also appears at PopMatters. 

Celia Bland's latest poetry collection, Cherokee Road Kill,  was reviewed by William Doreski in the current print issue of Rain Taxi,​ ​and by Cassie Pruyn in Blackbird, the poetry magazine of Virginia Commonwealth University 

Hamilton Cain’s review of Carl Zimmer's She Has Her Mother’s Laugh ran in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. 

Tobias Carroll wrote about Nikhil Singh's Taty Went West at Tor.com and new/newly-reissued books by Bethany C. Morrow, ...

Summer books, Father’s Day and interviews galore

It's high summer, a time to slow down; a time for beach reading and sailing and fishing and napping and vacation, but book critics never rest. We have a ton of wonderful links to reviews, interviews, stories and awards. Read on:

 

Reviews and columns:

NBCC Board member Lori Feathers' latest "Best of the B-Sides" feature at Words Without Borders is "Keeping House," a look at four novels in which a family’s home is integral to the story.

Board member David Varno reviewed Patrick Chamoiseau's "Slave Old Man" for the Brooklyn Rail. 

NBCC VP/Online Jane Ciabattari's BBC Culture column includes A.M. Homes' new story collection, Maria Hummel's new novel, Amanda Stern's Little Panic, and a novel by a Chilean author about an enigmatic novelist inspired by Clarice Lispector in which former NBCC board member and biography finalist Ben Moser has a cameo appearance. 

NBCC Board member Laurie Hertzel ...

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.) 

{related_entries id="related_podcast"}

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

June 12, 2018, length:

Download

{/related_entries}
Keyword tags:

Video: The Crisis in Book Reviewing: Disappearing Space, Disappearing Pay

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)

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

Location: Book Expo, Jacob Javits Center

Video courtesy of NBCC Emerging Critic Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers.

{related_entries id="related_podcast"}

Video: The Crisis in ...

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

{related_entries id="related_podcast"}

NBCC/Zyzzyva Cocktail Party June 28

June 09, 2018, length:

Download

{/related_entries}
Keyword tags:

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. ...

New Fiction by Lauren Groff, Bill Clinton and James Patterson and more

 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, NBCC award fiction award winner (for Americanah) and fiction finalist (for Half of a Yellow Sun) is profiled in The New Yorker.

Colette Bancroft's ​review of Lauren Groff's new book of stories, Florida, appeared in the Tampa Bay Times.

Board Member Gregg Barrios ​wrote about Andy Warhol and the myth of the American West for The Rivard Report.

Ellen Prentiss Campbell's review and re-discovery of the late Josephine Jacobsen's The Edge of the Sea appears on The Fiction Writers Review for "Short Story Month."

Tobias Carroll ​reviewed Melissa Broder's The Pisces and Rita Bullwinkel's Belly Up for Tor.com.

​Anne Charles​' review of Nicola Griffith's So Lucky appeared in the Lambda Literary Review.

Meg Waite Clayton reviewed Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean for the San Francisco Chronicle.

David Cooper reviewed The Mandela Plot ...

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 ...

Road Trips with Andrew Sean Greer and Better Times for Women in Hollywood

NBCC board member and Best Translated Book Award judge Lori Feathers writes about why My Heart Hemmed In by Marie NDiaye should win this year's BTBA fiction prize.

Julia M. Klein shows how Hollywood used to be better for women, with her review of Nell Scovell's "Just the Funny Parts" and J.E. Smyth's "Nobody's Girl Friday" for the Forward. She also reviewed Scott W. Stern's "The Trials of Nina McCall" for the Boston Globe.

“The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff,” writes Colette Bancroft for the Tampa Bay Times.

Laura Spence-Ash reviewed The Boatbuilder by Daniel Gumbiner for the Ploughshares blog.

“For summer vacation, the best audiobooks are about long, strange trips,” says Katherine A. Powers, in her recommendation of books by Charles Portis, Andrew Sean Greer, Bill Bryson, Candice Millard, and Paulette Jiles for the Washington Post.

Rebecca Kightlinger reviewed Víctor del Árbol's A Million ...

Ian MacKenzie, William Trevor, Sarah Winman & Flash Fiction

NBCC Vice President/Online Jane Ciabattari’s flash fiction, #BrooklynAftertheFall, was published in the flash anthology commissioned for Independent Bookstore Day on April 28, and in Lit Hub. Her new weekly Lit Hub column continues, with an exchange with Rumaan Alam on books mostly about motherhood (including novels by NBCC honored fiction writers Louise Erdrich and Jayne Anne Phillips).

For Literary Hub, Tobias Carroll wrote about the overlap of critical acclaim of horror stories with our current political moment. He reviewed Lucas Mann’s ‘Captive Audience’ for the Barnes & Noble Review, interviewed Stacy Horn about her new book ‘Damnation Island’ for Curbed, and Nicola Griffith about her novel ‘So Lucky’ for Hazlitt. He also posted the latest installment of his Watchlist column at Words Without Borders.

NBCC Emerging Critics’ Fellow Zack Graham interviewed debut novelist Rachel Lyon for the English Kills Review.

Wayne Catan reviewed Paula McLain’s ...

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 ...

Critical Notes: NBCC members review Rachel Kushner, Michael Ondaatje and More

Rayyan Al-Shawa reviewed Audrey Schulman's Theory of Bastards in The Globe and Mail.

Here’s board member Kerri Arsenault on an early lesson in labor and loyalty: "How My Father’s Strike Nearly Broke Our Town in Two” on Lithub.

Jan Alexander interviewed Kurt Andersen about Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, about America's long history of unshakable, socio-economically based beliefs, and how dangerous faith has become today. 

Jenny Bhatt reviewed Curtis Sittenfeld’s You Think It, I’ll Say It—her new collection of short stories--and Vera Tobin’s Elements of Surprise, about the connections between cognition, language, and narrative, for Pop Matters.

NBCC Vice President/Online Jane Ciabattari has launched a new column for The Literary Hub (beginning with an interview with Paul Theroux). Her BBC Culture column this month features new novels  from Blanche McCrary Boyd, Elizabeth Winthrop, Caryl Phillips and Rumaan Alam. She also wrote about the Bay Area Book ...

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. 

 

{related_entries id="related_podcast"}

SAVE THE DATE: NBCC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MAY 30

May 10, 2018, length:

Download

{/related_entries}
Keyword tags:

Straight-ahead book reviews and backwards books

NBCC board member Laurie Hertzel wrote her weekly Star Tribune column on the strange and disturbing trend of shelving books spine-in.

Board member Lori Feathers highlights three recent translations in the May issue of World Literature Today for the publication's "What to Read Now" feature.

Former board member and Balakian finalist (and poet, and memoirist) David Biespiel sits down for a long interview about poetry, politics, criticism, and the roots of the imagination in the May/June issue of the AWP Chronicle.

Ellen Akins reviewed the 40th anniversary edition of Joy Williams's The Changeling with an introduction by Karen Russell, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Michael Magras reviewed You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld for the Houston Chronicle.

Robert Allen Papinchak reviewed Brock Clarke's The Price of the Haircut for Washington Independent Review of Books. He also reviewed  reviewed Richard Russo's The Destiny Thief for the National Book Review.

Alexis Burling reviewed "Lion ...

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: 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: 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 ...

Critical Notes: Spring Titles, Memoirs, and a Poet-in-Residence

***  The NBCC awards finalists will read on Wednesday, March 14, at 6:30 pm at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, New York City, and the awards ceremony will be at the same location on  Thursday, March 15, at 6:30 pm. Both are free and open to the public. Tickets to the benefit after-party are $75, and may be purchased here. (NBCC members may purchase tickets in advance for $50.)  ***

*** 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. This week, NBCC board member Michael Schaub offers an appreciation of biography finalist William Taubman's Gorbachev: His Life and Times," John McWhorter praises Adam Rutherford’s "A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived," Elizabeth Taylor applauds "Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder" by Caroline Fraser and "The Evangelicals: The Struggle ...