• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$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, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • 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:Joan Silber, Kevin Young, Joan Didion, Hanif Abdurraqu &amp; More

Reminder: NBCC Balakian award submissions from members are due December 17. The award for excellence in book criticism includes a $1,000 cash prize funded by former NBCC board member Gregg Barrios.

NBCC members: Check your in-boxes for ballots for this year's John Leonard award for best first book in any genre. For a look at some of the books under consideration, check out our blog series curated by VP/Newswire Kerri Arsenault

Former NBCC president and current board member Tom Beer writes about Joan Silber's Improvement for Newsday.

NBCC board member Anjali Enjeti reviews Kevin Young's Bunk for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Poet, memoirist, and former NBCC board member David Biespiel (left, photographed by Marion Ettlinger) speaks in Lit Hub's "Secrets of the Book Critics" column."

NBCC board member Walton Muyumba reviews Hanif Abdurraqui's So They Can't Kill Us All  for the Chicago Tribune

Former NBCC president and current VP/Online Jane Ciabattari's Lit Hub column includes books by Susan Sontag, Helen Benedict, and Julie Lythcott-Haims.

NBCC emerging critic Paul Gleason publishes a long Joan Didion essay in The Point.

Alexander Chee's remembrance and eulogy for his mentor, former NBCC board member Kit Reed, in the Los Angeles Times.

Hamilton Cain reviews Richard Lloyd Parry's Ghosts of the Tsunami for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Reza Aslan's God: A Human History for the Barnes & Noble Review.

Joan Frank reviews Louise Marburg's The Truth About Me for the San Francisco Chronicle.

For the Washington Post, Mike Lindgren takes on "the somewhat whimsical assignment of reviewing an amusing, if essentially slight, book about umbrellas. That’s right, umbrellas."

For The Adroit Journal, David Nilsen reviews Rosalie Moffett's poetry collection June in Eden.

David Cooper reviews North Station by Bae Shuah for the New York Journal of Books.

Michael Magras reviews multiple NBCC fiction finalist Jeffrey Eugenides' first story collection, Fresh Complaint, for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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:Joan Silber, Kevin Young, Joan Didion, Hanif Abdurraqu & More
November 27, 2017, length:

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"Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • New book reviews are up! Check out the latest batch on our book review page. Books covered this month include: The Forage House, poetry by Tess Taylor, Red Hen Press War Reporter, poetry by Dan O’Brien, Hanging Loose Press Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine, anthology compiled and edited by Travis Kurowski, Atticus Books New Stories from the Midwest 2012,
  • One of my favourite sources of retweet material is Darcy Pattison’s blog, Fiction Notes. If she was on Twitter (as far as I can tell, she’s not), I’m sure she’d be one of the most retweeted writers ever. (Edit: I’ve switch the link for this book to Amazon at Darcy’s request since she says that indie bookstores may find it hard to obtain.) Hm, and I notice she has a book on revision: NOVEL METAMORPHOSIS: UNCOMMON WAYS TO REVISE. Anyway, do visit her site for excellent tips on the craft of writing: http://www.darcypattison.com/
  • My wife is sad and seeing my sad wife, I too am sad, then as she answers her mother’s phone call, “Sure, we’re fine,” the wife inside my wife grows sadder still. I want to live in a world that’s perfect like magic. The rabbit that came out of a hat voluntarily goes back into the hat. When I try to go into a mirror, I wonder why the rigid surface stops me? A mother abandons her child, a job abandons a father, a disease abandons a sick person and a magician finally abandons…... Translated from Korean by Brother Anthony of Taizé and Eun-Gwi Chung...
  • No New York Times Book Review coverage here this weekend, though you can find some at HTML Giant, where they seem to have picked up my weekend habit. I'm busy moving this website to a new host and new software platform. The data migration heavy lifting is now complete, which means I can now start in on the fun stuff: new navigation features, an updated design, bringing my game into the new decade. Goodbye WordPress (you treated me well) ... hello Drupal. --> read more
  • photo HoneysuckleSalvage, via Etsy On a recent flight to Dallas, I read a short biography of Thomas Edison put out by Time Magazine that I’d bought at an airport kiosk. I learned that Edison’s first invention was a commercial failure. He invented a vote tabulator so that votes could be counted efficiently and quickly. When he took the invention to politicians, he realized that the losing side wanted a slow head count so that they could gather support; and at some point or another, every politician is on the losing side of a vote. No one wanted it. And so Edison decided he would never invent...

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Fast fact about writing

Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities.