Writeful

a weblog for readers and writers

Name:
Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bootleg of Enoch Pratt’s Writers LIVE: Eric D. Goodman, Womb: a novel in utero

Do you prefer video to audio? Then you’re in luck. We came across this bootleg smartphone video recording of the Enoch Pratt Library’s launch for Womb: a novel in utero as part of their Writers LIVE! Series.

If you prefer professional audio, you’ll want to listen to the Enoch Pratt’s official podcast recording of the event—complete with introductions by Judy Cooper and Gregg Wilhelm, and a reading and question and answer session with the author.

              
But if you prefer bootleg video, this is for you.

https://goo.gl/photos/PoN9wodH9ktqs4Db7

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Monday, August 07, 2017

Steve Himmer on Womb: Highly Attuned, Deeply Inquisitive Novel

Steve Himmer of Emerson College is the author of such novels as Scratch, Fram, and The Bee-Loud Glade. What was Steve's reaction to Womb: a novel in utero?

"Womb’s wise before his years narrator has a whole world to show us — our own — if only we, and his own struggling parents, can remember how to listen past the noise of our busy postnatal lives. He knows big things we’ve forgotten and he knows he’ll forget them soon, too, but this highly attuned, deeply inquisitive novel gives us a welcome chance to be reminded of what is always already there."

-- Steve Himmer,
    Author of Scratch, Fram, and The Bee-Loud Glade

Learn more about Steve and his work at http://stevehimmer.com.


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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Nathan Leslie on Womb: Inventive, Tender, Remarkable, Scintillating Prose

Nathan Leslie is the author of nine books and counting, including Sibs, Madre, and The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice. What did Nathan think about Womb: a novel in utero?

"Leave it to Eric D. Goodman to have the imagination to narrate his latest risk-taking novel,Womb, in utero.  The point of view here is not only inimitable and inventive in its fly-on-the-wall approach, but Goodman’s novel also brings the goods in scintillating prose.  A truly tender, remarkable story.  You won’t read another novel like Eric D. Goodman's Womb anywhere."

-- Nathan Leslie
    author of Sibs, Madre, and The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice 

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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Potomac on Womb: Thought-Provoking Novel of Ideas

The Potomac: a journal of poetry and politics has published a review of Womb: a novel in utero, describing the book as “thought-provoking” and comparing it to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

Womb is an entertaining, provocative read that stays with the reader after he puts the book down.”

"Like Goodman's earlier novel, Tracks, Womb is a Baltimore story, though, given the point–of–view of the unborn narrator, this is not quite as crucial. Still, scenes from Federal Hill, Towson and elsewhere give a flavor to events. Penny's and Jack's struggles could happen in no other place to feel at once so homey and so anonymous."

Read the entire review in the latest issue of The Potomac!


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Three Wombs with Views


It’s easy to love the good reviews when they come. It’s not as simple to dismiss the uninspired ones. Being in good company makes it easier. Litro panned Ian McEwan’s Nutshell and my Womb in the same sentence.

Litro, the UK’s largest print and online literary magazine, has a print distribution of 130,000 in addition to their larger online presence. So I’m thinking a lackluster review is better than no review at all, which is what books published by smaller presses often get from large magazines like Litro.

I was surprised to discover this review of Womb a full trimester before the novel's publication.

“Womb: A Novel in Utero by Eric D. Goodman is to be published early next year by Merge Publishing. Like McEwan, Goodman rises to the challenge posed by the foetus’ limited perspective, relating a story of betrayal and domestic turmoil through the filter of the uterine wall. The narrator of Womb is in possession of knowledge beyond his experience, this time not the work of podcasts but of a ‘connection to the greater consciousness’ which ‘allows me to peruse the works of great philosophers and thinkers, to study sociological and psychological experiments, to witness the past and see such theories put into practice in the field’.”

The reviewer goes on to describe Ian McEwan and me as either lazy or inexperienced, using another author’s words to do so.

“‘One of the commonest signs of a lazy or inexperienced writer of fiction is inconsistency in handling point of view,’ David Lodge informs us, and it is this inconsistency ... that undoes the carefully-constructed conceit around which both novels hinge.”

Of course, one can’t please all readers, and I do expect some non-stellar reviews. However, I do feel the reviewer took some of my text out of context, as pointed out by another reader in the comments. Never does Womb imply that anyone but the pregnant mother should make a decision about her child. The “let him decide” line quoted in the review was the narrator telling his mother to let her husband decide whether he was ready for fatherhood, not whether she should have the baby.

The reviewer had as much good to say about Womb and Nutshell as she did bad. She also reviewed a third novel in utero, What Becomes Us by Micha Perks.

“There is a common thread to these novels. Perks examines the mother’s journey from past to present: determined to erase her own history, she embarks on a reinvention of self to match the invention of self happening inside her. Goodman laments the loss of unlimited knowledge. After the baby’s birth, his language fragments into staccato-sentences. And McEwan’s newborn mourns the ‘private ease of Mother’s womb’, as Thomas Gunn wrote so memorably in ‘Baby’s Song’. Gunn’s baby wishes to be ‘put… back/ Where it is warm and wet and black’. Now, ‘raging, small, and red’, he knows that while things may be forgotten, ‘I won’t forget that I regret’. This regret, a startling sentiment in narrators who haven’t yet lived, permeates all three novels.”

Read the full essay about these three wombs with a view in Litro.



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Getting Ahead in Contrapuntos

Digitus Indie Publishing is publishing my short story, “Getting Ahead” in their latest print anthology, Contrapuntos IV.

Contrapuntos translates to counterpoint. Based in the Arizona-Nevada region, Digitus’s Contrapuntos publishes works of fiction and nonfiction in both English and Spanish.

“Getting Ahead” is about a relocating artist who, during her trip, finds a way to get ahead.

As the anthology’s editor, Jennifer Byron, writes: “What starts as a mundane cross-country road trip that a young couple takes in Eric Goodman’s “Getting Ahead” leads to an abrupt and rather humorous finale. The dialogue between the two protagonists and description of pit stops along the way distracts the reader from the unexpected twist that occurs at the end of the tale. Upon its conclusion, the short story invites the reader to consider the composition of its protagonists’ psyche to better understand the actions that unfolded in the narrative.”

Learn more about Digitus, and how you can order your print copy of Contrapuntos IV, at their website.



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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Womb Interview with Deborah Kalb

Deborah Kalb knows books and writers—and she features both regularly on her blog, Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb

I met Deborah and her father, journalist Marvin Kalb, when I was promoting Tracks: A Novel in Stories at the Gaithersburg Book Festival and they were promoting their book, Haunting Legacy, at the same event. Shortly after, she interviewed me about Tracks

More recently, Deborah interviewed me about my newest book, Womb: a novel in utero.

We talk about the unusual premise, what inspired it, and what research I did to hold it together. We discuss Ian McEwan’s latest work and my upcoming projects.

Read the interview now at Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb:



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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ron Tanner: There is Real Suspense in this Brave Book

Author Ron Tanner (Kiss me Stranger, A Bed of Nails, From Animal House to Our House) recently read Womb: a novel in utero. His thoughts?

"You may gape in disbelief as you realize that the narrator of Eric D. Goodman’s novel, Womb, is a fetus, talking to us from his mother’s womb. But the proto-boy has a lot to say. And, determined to save—somehow—his parents’ marriage, he has a lot to accomplish. There is real suspense in this brave book and more than one surprise. So, suspend your disbelief and let the lad talk." 

-- Ron Tanner, author of Missile Paradise

Learn more about Ron, and his latest book, Missile Paradise, at his blog for readers and writers: www.RonTanner.com.

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Monday, June 05, 2017

Preparing for Poland

Our trip to United Arab Emirates in April was a lot of fun—and became the subject of a series of travel stories that will be ready for prime time soon. But the hunger to travel and explore the world has not been subdued. 

We’re currently making preparations for the next travel adventure: Poland.

We’ve been to Germany to the west, Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south, and Scandinavia and the Baltics to the north—but this will be our first trip to Poland at the center of it all. We’re looking forward to it.

Our flat in Warsaw is right on Old Town Market Square, dating back to the 13th century. The squares, castles, palaces, museums, and historic sights look amazing.

Krakow has its share of museums, palaces and squares, although we’ll also be exploring the history, like Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

We’ll also be visiting the western city of Wroclaw and the coastal city of Gdansk on the Baltic Sea.

There’s so much to do and see in Poland, its hart to decide!

Here are some of our options as we plan:


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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Ramadan Mubarak!







For all my friends who observe the holy month of fasting and sacrifice, I’d like to say Ramadan Mubarak. And what better time than during Ramadan to share my experience from this past spring at one of the most impressive mosques of the world: the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.


The largest mosque in the country and one of the largest mosques in the world, it features seven amazing crystal chandeliers, one of which is the largest in any mosque and one of the largest in the world. It also features the world’s largest hand-woven Persian rug. With marble and granite, inlayed semi-precious stone, and beautiful domes and minarets, it was one of the highlights of our trip to the UAE. 

Take a look at these photos and videos and you’ll see why!



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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Remembering Thurber, Vesta, and the Story Behind the Story

Redux is an online literary journal devoted to given second life to stories that have been previously published in print journals. When I was asked late last year to submit, the first story that came to mind was “Out for a Walk.”

I was not a dog-owner when I wrote “Out for a Walk” ten years ago, and hadn’t been for nearly ten years, although I’d grown up with family dogs throughout my childhood and knew what it felt like to lose a dog. A friend of mine had recently told me about her difficult experience: her dog had bitten someone and she had to have the dog euthanized. Her experience inspired me to write this story, because it was an interesting situation, and it conjured up that sense of loss—a reminder of how strong the bond between a person and a pet can be.

“Out for a Walk” was one of those rare experiences for me in which the first draft felt good enough to submit—and was accepted by The Baltimore Review when they were still a print journal. In fact, it was my first short story published in a non-academic print journal. The raw emotion I felt while writing the story may be why it was so well received, and so quickly accepted.

It’s mere coincidence (with perhaps a bit of the subconscious mind at work) that when my wife, two children, and I went to the SPCA rescue shelter to adopt a dog, we were immediately drawn to Vesta, a black lab-vizsla mix, much like Thurber, the dog in my story with a “brown-black coat” and “chocolate eyes.” It wasn’t until my recent reading of “Out for a Walk” that I realized this connection.

When I pondered which previously published story I should submit to Redux, “Out for a Walk” immediately came to mind.

Then, another coincidence came this week when, for medical reasons, we had to make the difficult choice to put Vesta to sleep.

Life and death both imitate art.

This Memorial Day, I’d like to share “Out for a Walk” and the story behind the story, as published earlier this year in Redux.




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Friday, May 26, 2017

Womb Featured at Book Expo 2017 in New York

The annual North American Book Expo is the biggest book convention this side of the globe. My first book, Flightless Goose, was featured at Book Expo nearly 10  years ago, and Nataliya (my wife and the book's illustrator) and I even signed about 100 copies for people waiting in line in the autographing area—we actually ran out and had to turn people away.

Womb: a novel in utero is being featured at Book Expo 2017, located at the Javits Center in New York City. Womb will be on display along with other titles from Merge Publishing as part of the Independent Book Publishers’ area, located at booths 2839 and 2938.

Headliners featured at Book Expo 2017 include Stephen King, Clair Messud, Neil Patrick Harris, Lemony Snicket, Scott Kelly, and Scott Turow.

If you happen to be at Book Expo 2017, be sure to stop by booths 2839 and 2938 to snap and share a photo or two of Womb: a novel in utero!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Podcast for Enoch Pratt’s Writers LIVE: Eric D. Goodman, Womb: a novel in utero

The Enoch Pratt Free Library in downtown Baltimore hosted the launch of my new book, Womb: a novel in utero, in March as part of their popular Writers LIVE series. 

Gregg Wilhelm, founder of the CityLit Project, introduced me (and Judy Cooper, head of the Enoch Pratt, introduced him). 

Then I got up and spoke, read a few excerpts from Womb, and took questions and answers.

The library has released a podcast of the event, which you can find at their website. You can stream it from their website or download it as an mp3.

Enjoy the podcast now at the Enoch Pratt’s website.


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Friday, May 19, 2017

Gregg Wilhelm on Womb: Complete with its anxiety, joy

I met Gregg Wilhelm at the Baltimore Book Festival about a decade ago, when he was just starting what would become a cornerstone of the regional literary arts scene: CityLit Project. 

CityLit Project programs acclimated me to the local literary scene, coached me as I sought to better my writing and get it published, and later featured me and my fellow writers at such venues as the Baltimore Book Festival and CityLit Festival. So, to borrow his words, it was with a bit of “anxiety” and “joy” that I received his thoughts on my latest novel, Womb.

“The precocious prenatal narrator of Eric D. Goodman's novel, Womb, examines one of humanity's most common experiences — the nine-month drama of expecting parents—complete with its anxiety, joy, and adjustments. When a secret threatens to tear apart Jack and Penny, the arrival of this imaginative novel's in utero sage might be the ultimate solution.”

-- Gregg Wilhelm
Founder Emeritus, CityLit Project


Learn more about Gregg at www.greggwilhelm.com.

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