Book review: ‘Insurrections’ by Rion Amilcar Scott

I recommend the story collection Insurrections by Rion Amilcar Scott. The stories offer glimpses of life in the fictional town of Cross River, Maryland, a largely black settlement founded in 1807 after the only successful slave revolt in the United States. In “Good Times,” a troubled man with a wife and child finds his wayContinue reading “Book review: ‘Insurrections’ by Rion Amilcar Scott”

National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists for 2017 Awards

The National Book Critics Circle has announced today winners of three prestigious prizes and nominees in nonfiction, biography, autobiography, poetry, criticism and fiction. The awards will be announced on March 15. Carmen Maria Machado’s debut story collection, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf), is being honored with the John Leonard Prize, which recognizes an outstanding first bookContinue reading “National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists for 2017 Awards”

Review: Following Tommy by Bob Hartley

Following Tommy by Bob Hartley is a gem of a book: hard, brilliant and valuable. It tells the story of Jacky O’Day, a bookish teen who lives in a changing Irish neighborhood in 1962 Chicago with an alcoholic father and a troubled older brother, Tommy. All of them live in the devastating aftermath of theContinue reading “Review: Following Tommy by Bob Hartley”

Lincoln in the Bardo and the impossible audiobook

Notes on reading: Lincoln in the Bardo and the impossible audiobook

I just pre-ordered Chuck Kinder’s Silver Ghost

Outlaw. Writer. Professor. Chuck Kinder was my professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s MFA program. Like many of his students, I benefited greatly from his imaginative approach to writing, the often imaginative worlds opened up by his constant question: “What if?” In an exciting turn of events, his 1978 novel “The Silver Ghost” is comingContinue reading “I just pre-ordered Chuck Kinder’s Silver Ghost”