Critical Mass, The Blog of the National Book Critics Circle

Critical Notes: Michael Chabon, Kathleen Collins, and A New National Anthem by Ada Limón

by Michele Filgate | Dec-06-2016

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Are you interested in running for the NBCC Board? The deadline for board statements is December 19th.

NBCC board member Marion Winik reviews The Next by Stephanie Gangi for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. For Newsday, she reviews Whatever Happened to Interracial Love by Kathleen Collins,  How to Survive a Plague by David France, Moonglow by Michael Chabon, and Swing Time by Zadie Smith.

NBCC board member and Star Tribune books editor Laurie Hertzel reviews Shakespeare and Company: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart edited by Krista Halverson for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, as well as three memoirs: All At Sea, by Decca Aitkenhead, The Unquiet Daughter, by Danielle Flood, and Ghost Songs, by Regina McBride. She also reviews Schoolhouse, a memoir by Marc Nieson; Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary, a biography by Joe Jackson, and Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores, by Bob Eckstein. Finally, she writes about how readers choose their next book to read. (One man lets his cat choose.)

NBCC board member Colette Bancroft reviews Moonglow by Michael Chabon for the Tampa Bay Times.

NBCC board member Kate Tuttle interviews Michael Chabon for the Los Angeles Times. In her latest Boston Globe column, she reviews Black Elk by Joe Jackson, JFK and the Masculine Mystique by Steven Watts, and Table Manners by Jeremiah Tower. She also writes about Michael Ward’s The Sea is Quiet Tonight for the Boston Globe’s “Story Behind the Book” feature.

Joseph Peschel reviews Moonglow by Michael Chabon for the News & Observer.

NBCC poetry finalist Ada Limón writes A New National Anthem for Buzzfeed.

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Heller McAlpin writes that A.L. Kennedy’s “agonizingly penetrating" Serious Sweet, "is at heart an oddball love story that features what is probably Kennedy’s most hopeful ending yet.” McAlpin also reviews The Glass Universe for, in which Dava Sobel once again “highlights women’s often under-appreciated role in the history of science.” And for The Barnes & Noble Review, McAlpin extols Richard Pevear and Larissa Volkhonsky’s new translation of Alexander Pushkin’s Novels, Tales, Journeys.

Julie R. Enszer reviews Therese Svoboda’s Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge at The Rumpus.

Rod Davis reviews Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark by Tamara Saviano for Lone Star Literary Life. 

Jennifer Howard writes about digital privacy and data love for The Times Literary Supplement. She’s also featured on the TLS Voices podcast, discussing the review with TLS editor Stig Abell and commissioning editor Thea Lenarduzzi.

Julia M. Klein reviews David France's How to Survive a Plague for the Boston Globe.

Former NBCC board member and Balakian recipient Steven G. Kellman reviews Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada (translated by Susan Bernofsky) for the Boston Globe.

Judy Krueger reviews The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle at Litbreak.

Anjali Enjeti reviews April Ayers Lawson's Virgin and Other Stories for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Alexis Burling reviews Michael Chabon’s Moonglow for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Natalie Bakopoulos reviews Swing Time by Zadie Smith for Fiction Writers Review.

Paul Wilner reviews two new books by Philip Levine for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Daniel Asa Rose interviews Billy Collins for the Observer and writes an essay called “Separated at Birth” for Harper’s. 

NBCC Members’ Choice 2016 Book Awards

by Tom Beer | Dec-05-2016

Every year NBCC members are asked to nominate titles to be finalists for the book awards in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, criticism, biography, and autobiography. Any title that receives 20 percent of members' votes automatically becomes a finalist. Among the past finalists advanced by member votes were Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. We hope you'll take the time to participate via the survey that comes to your in-box. The survey will close on Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. EST.

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