Roundup: Meghan O’Rourke, Michel Houellebecq, Harvey Pekar, and more

by Mark Athitakis (membership) | Dec-12-2011

Michael Lindgren reviews Meghan O’Rourke’s new poetry collection, Once, for The L Magazine.

Michelle Bailat-Jones takes an extended look at the work of controversial French novelist Michel Houellebecq at the Quarterly Conversation.

John Reed looks at Harvey Pekar, radical New York artists, the publishing industry, and more at the Rumpus to argue for the political necessity of challenging conventional narrative structures.

Kerri Arsenault reviews Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem: The Biography for Bookslut.

Leora Skolkin-Smith’s story “A Tape of Helen Gilderstein Speaking” appears at

Joseph Peschel reviews Dagoberto Gilb’s story collection, Before the End, After the Beginning, for the Boston Globe.

Denise Low’s poem “Two Gates” is featured in Ted Kooser’s weekly column, American Life in Poetry.

Jim Carmin reviews Luis Alberto Urrea’s novel Queen of America for the Oregonian.

Your reviews and recommendations help seed these roundups: If you’re an NBCC member with a review you’d like considered for inclusion, please email You can also get our attention by using the Twitter hashtag #nbcc, posting on the wall of our Facebook page, or joining our members-only LinkedIn group.

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).


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