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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.


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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