Among the things we’ve been celebrating lately at PW is this past weekend’s announcement that our own nonfiction reviews editor Parul Sehgal won the prestigious Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle, an honor she shares with such esteemed critics as Joan Acocella, Daniel Mendelsohn and Ron Charles. Around here, we couldn’t be prouder.
NBCC board member (and former Balakian winner) Scott McLemee interviewed Parul for Inside Higher Ed to find out more about her and hear her thoughts on criticism. We wanted to point you toward that interview and give you a little sample. Here’s Parul on what she’s trying to do when reviewing a book:
I try very hard to be fair to the author, honest with the reader, and to create something sturdy and beautiful in its own right. More presumptuously, I suppose I’m trying, in Baudelaire’s words, “to transform my pleasure into knowledge.”
We hope you’ll read the whole wonderfully intelligent interview.
[Full disclosure: I am on the board of the NBCC, but we have strict conflict-of-interest rules prohibiting voting for friends and colleagues for these kinds of awards, so I recused myself from all discussion and voting in this award.]