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  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
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  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Critical Notes: October Launches, Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Eig, Sally Rooney &amp; More

Member reviews and interviews:

Jennifer Egan, who earned the NBCC Fiction Award for her novel A Visit from the Goon Squad,  has a new novel out this month. Priscilla Gilman reviewed Manhattan Beach for the Boston Globe. Eileen Weiner reviewed it for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/1/17

NBCC board member and Minneapolis Star-Tribune senior editor for books Laurie Hertzel interviewed “Five Under 35” winner Lesley Nneka Arimah about the honor.  She also wrote her weekly column pondering which books to save in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. (An unthinkable question!) And she reviewed Jonathan Eig's biography, "Ali: A Life," for the Star Tribune.

David Varno has new reviews up, including Rodrigo Hasbún’s Affections, in Words Without Borders, and Juan Villoro's The Reef, in the Brooklyn Rail

NBCC board member Kerri Arsenault interviews new FSG Vice President, Colin Dickerman, on Lithub, for her column “Interview with a Gatekeeper." She also reviews Inara Verzemnieks’s book, Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe, for the Brooklyn Rail.

Gail Pool's essay, "The Case for Classics," was published by WBUR's Cognoscenti.

New NBCC member Alison Buckholtz reviews two novels for the Florida Times-Union: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney amd Elif Batuman's The Idiot. She also reviewed the poetry collection Dots & Dashes by Jehanne Dubrow for the Military Spouse Book Review.

Kai Maristed reviewed Peter Stamm's To The Back of Beyond for The Arts Fuse.

Patti Jazanoski reviews Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do for Consquence Magazine.

Other News:

Jack Sullivan ( an NBCC  member since 1978)  has a new book, New Orleans Remix, from University Press of Mississippi, coming in October. Based on dozens of interviews and archives, this book covers the contemporary music scene in New Orleans, a city which since the 1990s has experienced its greatest renaissance since the Louis Armstrong era. The focus is jazz, but the book also includes opera, brass band, funk, zydeco, and much else.

Shenandoah awarded Philip Belcher the Carter Prize for the Essay for “Beyond Autobiography: Claudia Emerson through Three Poems on Race" in Vol. 66, no. 1.

NBCC Balakian award winner  (and former board member) Parul Sehgal describes her new role as NYTimes book critic.

NBCC members note: Your reviews seed this roundup; please send items, including news about your new publications and recent honors, to NBCCCritics@gmail.com. With reviews, please include title of book and author, as well as name of publication. Make sure to send links that do not require a subscription or username and password.​ We love dedicated URLs. We do not love hyperlinks. 
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Critical Notes: October Launches, Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Eig, Sally Rooney & More
October 02, 2017, length:

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Keyword tags:

"Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for."
Alice Walker

Random picks

  • The Death of Fiction: Lit mags were once launching pads for great writers and big ideas. Is it time to write them off?"Stop being so damned dainty and polite. Treat writing like your lifeblood instead of your livelihood. And for Christ's sake, write something we might want to read."By Ted Genoways in Mother Jones, Jan/Feb 2010.[via Gerry Canavan]
  • NY Yankees merchandise is much more popular than ever now that The Boss has left the stadium. Many are the opportunities – in fact, more numerous than ever before, it would seem, as a casual glance around online and off suggests – to sell everything from an NY Yankees flag to a NY Yankees clock, only now with Steinbrenner’s own mug along with the team logo. Indeed, a disinterested observer might even mistake him for the Yankees mascot, given the ubiquity of images since his passing! NY Yankees merchandise is a big business, and it was Steinbrenner himself who made it so....
  • Writing persuasively can be very hard, but ethos, pathos, and logos are persuasive writing techniques that can make it much easier.
  • The Kenyon Review selected Elie Wiesel as the winner of the 2012 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. "Wiesel is the author of more than fifty books, most famous among them his haunting work Night. His writing deals with the moral imperative of all people to fight hatred, racism, and genocide. He is a Holocaust survivor and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Wiesel accepted the Kenyon Review
  • Jeffrey Skinner and Leslie McGrath at Sarabande Books are working on a project about the careers of poets and literary prose writers. How do poets and other literary writers move ahead in their careers (other than via their blazing talent?) This is your chance to share the anecdotes you’ve only told your closest friends. The editors are interested only in the stories, not in names and places.

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Fast fact about writing

In China historians have found out a lot about the early Chinese dynasties from the written documents left behind. From the Shang Dynasty most of this writing has survived on bones or bronze implements. Markings on turtle shells (used as oracle bones) have been carbon-dated to around 1500 BC. Historians have found that the type of media used had an effect on what the writing was documenting and how it was used.