The Wednesday Web Browser

  • No idea when I’ll actually read it, but Cynthia Ozick’s new novel, Foreign Bodies, is definitely on my tbr list. Check out this Bookforum review. (via Jewish Ideas Daily)
  • National Public Radio wants to know what you think about its books coverage–and how said coverage might be improved.
  • On a related note, this interview with Mark Athitakis features some interesting insights into book reviewing.
  • The American Library Association has added a GLBT youth literature award to its considerable award roster: the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award.
  • I’m still resisting the e-Reader trend, but if you’re more adaptable than I am (and let’s face it, many people are!), you may be interested in this new development: an e-Book club, courtesy of Dzanc Books.
  • How much money can freelancers really make? Kelly James-Enger has investigated.
  • Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: Event Announcements!

    Some nice news this week. Let’s start with this: The first “official” event for my forthcoming story collection, Quiet Americans, has been confirmed! If you’re going to be in the Washington, D.C., area on Sunday, February 6, 2011, please consider yourself invited to come by the National Museum of American Jewish Military History (near Dupont Circle in the District) for a reading and discussion. The event will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and it will be free of charge. Bonus: Refreshments will be served (the event coordinator is a very kind and gracious person!).

    I approached the NMAJMH for several reasons. First, it’s a museum I’ve been curious to visit myself. My paternal grandfather served in World War II, and (here’s reason #2) his military experience as a Jewish serviceman inspired one of the stories in Quiet Americans. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty likely that I’ll read from that story, “Lebensraum,” that afternoon. (I’d love to situate it alongside some other Jewish-American military-themed fiction, so please share any tips you may have in comments. Already on my list: Philip Roth’s “Defender of the Faith” and Rachel Kadish’s “The Argument”.)

    I also wanted to maximize the event potential inherent in a trip to D.C. That’s where the next Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference will be held, from February 2-5. I haven’t been to an AWP conference in a couple of years, but D.C. is relatively nearby, and having two panel proposals accepted sealed the deal. (Here go some more of those vacation days I’ve banked up at the day job!)

    Speaking of those AWP panels, this week I learned exactly when and where each one will be taking place. Please visit my updated “News & Events” page for details. Those of you who are planning to come to AWP, I hope that you’ll have time to stop by one or both!

    The Wednesday Web Browser

    A few morsels to brighten up your middle-of-the-week:

    • Book clubs are one thing. Literary magazine clubs are another.
    • Not sure how I missed the fact that The Christian Science Monitor has a books blog (“Chapter and Verse“), but that lacuna in my knowledge (and our blogroll) has now been remedied.
    • Nice recap of a Literary Translation Roundtable that took place at the recent conference of the American Literary Translators’ Association.
    • Yet another gem from Fiction Writers Review: This time, FWR brings us an exceptional, four-participant reflection on the 2010 Sozopol Fiction Seminar. As always, the layout and images are also superlative.
    • Advice for ghostwriters: Ten Signs to Run Away from a Potential Client.
    • Two poetry-related items: Ron Hogan’s report on an event featuring W.S. Merwin and Mark Edmundson’s take on the contemporary relevance of William Blake’s “London.” (Confession: Blake was one of my favorites way back in that freshman-year British lit survey.)

    The Wednesday Web Browser

    Welcome to our Wednesday writerly link roundup. May I present:

    Quotation of the Week: Beth Garland

    This week I’m proud to present not only a quotation, but rather an entire brief essay by my friend Beth Garland, who has recently returned from a trip to the War, Literature, and the Arts Conference in Colorado Springs. The theme of the 2010 conference was “the representation and reporting of America’s wars from 1990 to present.” Beth was invited to appear and read from one of her most impressive works of short fiction to date (and I’ve read many of them), “Departure,” a piece that focuses on one Army wife’s journey home after sending her husband off on a deployment to Iraq.

    Here’s a little bit about our guest blogger: Beth Garland, a former technical writer, earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. She has been “married to the military” for 10 years and has written articles on military marriage for She lives in Surf City, N.C., with her husband and two daughters and is expecting a third child next spring.

    In the week leading up to the War, Literature, and the Arts Conference in Colorado Springs, my emotions ran from one end of the spectrum to the other. Fear, pride, excitement, dread…wanting to go ahead with the trip as planned one day, ready to back out the next. I’d like to blame it all on the fact that I’m newly pregnant again and my hormones are going crazy, but in truth, I was just being me, a terribly anxious person who always expects the worst. I’m afraid to fly, so I could hardly believe that I needed to worry about how well the 15-minute reading of my story “Departure,” would go, since I wouldn’t survive the trip there, but if by some miracle I did, I would have to face my second biggest fear, public speaking. And then, if I were still breathing after all that, I’d have to get back on a plane and fly home. I began to refer to the ordeal as the Trifecta of Terror (more…)