To find books about an author or volumes of critical essays on literature use cataLION.
To find books written by, for example, Dorothy Allison, do an author search: "Dorothy Allison"
To find books about Grace Paley do a subject search: "Dorothy Allison"
To find books containing literary criticism, do a keyword search: "Dorothy Allison" and "Criticism" or "influence" or interpretation
Tracking down book reviews for recent publications is fairly straightforward using the library's databases. Finding reviews published in the same year as an older book requires a little more detective work. It is not difficult, just different from yur usual methods of seeking information. The library has three print sources that will help you locate what you need: