Roundup: NBCC Reads, Margaret Drabble, Joe Lansdale, and more massive praise for Donna Tartt

by Eric Liebetrau | Oct-28-2013

Your reviews seed this roundup, please send items to


NBCC Reads:

Novelist Richard Powers, a four-time NBCC fiction finalist, launches the new NBCC Reads series. What's your favorite NBCC finalist of all time? See more here.

Balakian winner Ron Charles helps us launch the NBCC Reads series, which celebrates 40 years of reviewing.


Marion Winik on Donna Tartt, in Newsday.

Eileen Weiner also takes on Tartt's "stunning literary achievement."

In the Virginia Quarterly Review, Sebastian Stockman debuts his "Talismans" series with an interview with Gregory Maguire.

Joanna Scutts reviews Mary Beard's essay collection Confronting the Classics for the Washington Post.

David Duhr reviews Joe R. Lansdale's The Thicket for the Dallas Morning News.

"If You're Looking To Read 'Lady Things,' Choose Jezebel Over Jones." Maureen Corrigan on Mad About the Boy and The Book of Jezebel.

NBCC board member Jane Ciabattari talks to Jayne Anne Phillips about her new novel Quiet Dell. Based on a sensational Depression-era mass murder, Quiet Dell was written, Phillips says, "to make these children’s lives real and memorable. To make sure they were not erased.”

NBCC board member Carolyn Kellogg reviews Richard Kadrey's new novel, Dead Set.

Julia M. Klein reviews Wendy Lower's Hitler's Furies and Ben Urwand's The Collaboration for the Boston Globe.

New NBCC member Ryan Teitman on Amy Leach's Things that Are.

Katherine A. Powers reviews Vidar Sundstøl's The Land of Dreams.

NBCC board member David L. Ulin's notes from the 2013 Brooklyn Book Festival.

Carmela Ciuraru reviews Margaret Drabble's The Pure Gold Baby. She also reviews Jo Baker's Longbourn.

Critic Je Banach interviewed for Columbia College Review Lab. Banach will also be returning to the Yale Writers' Conference as a member of the residential faculty in 2014.

For Salon, Laura Miller talks to Donna Tartt about "her new novel, Captain Kangaroo as Oprah, and the trouble with female characters."

Heller McAlpin examines Roth Unbound.

Former NBCC board member Linda Wolfe on how a rules change made it possible for Alice Munro to win the NBCC fiction award in 1998 for The Love of a Good Woman.

In the Texas Observer, NBCC board member Steven G. Kellman examines the world's first bookless library.

NBCC board member Gregg Barrios: "Op-Ed: Dear Texas Book Festival—Where Have All the Latino Writers Gone?"

LISTEN to 2012 NBCC General Nonfiction Award winner Andrew Solomon discuss his book, Far from the Tree.

Erika Dreifus suggests "10 Ways to Celebrate Jewish Book Month" on The Forward's Arty Semite blog.

2012 NBCC Biography Award winner Robert Caro on "viewing Kennedy through LBJ’s eyes."

Jan Gardner examines the latest collection of the best American short stories.

About the Critical Mass Blog

Commentary on literary criticism, publishing, writing, and all things NBCC related. It's written by independent members of the NBCC Board of Directors (see list of bloggers below).



Categories & Archives

Become a Friend of the NBCC

Upcoming Events

NBCC at AWP18: March 09th, 2018

NBCC Finalists’ Reading: March 14th, 2018

NBCC Awards Ceremony and Reception: March 15th, 2018

NBCC Awards

Award Winners for 2016

See all award winners

Find out how to submit

Read how we select

Frequently Asked Questions

Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2016 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Finalists Reading

NBCC 2014 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Finalists Reading

Video: New Literary Journals

Video: The VIDA Count and Gender Bias in Book Reviewing

Podcast: What Is Criticism? NBCC Winners and Finalists at AWP

All videos and podcasts.