The OF Blog: Review plans for the next few days

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review plans for the next few days

Over the next few days, several reviews will be appearing as I tackle the remaining 10 National Book Award finalists (all in Poetry and Non-Fiction).  There will be a few differences, as I will likely choose an excerpt or two from the poetry collections and provide my reactions to the meter (if any), format, etc.  Poetry is a more intensely personal experience for many than prose (it is for me, at least), so these reviews will be more reflective reaction pieces than anything attempting to be authoritative.

This will not be the case with the non-fiction reviews.  Although four of the five are biographies of one form or another, there are elements of histories in three of these.  I am contemplating doing a dual review of Mary Gabriel's Love and Capital (on Karl and Jenny Marx) and Manning Marable's Malcolm X in order to suss out a few tangential connections in approach and research.  If I do so, this will be the only time that I'll condense a review (although to be honest, I'm more likely to get closer to the 2000 word mark in such a dual review essay).

I aim to have these books reviewed by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest, as the award winners will be announced Wednesday night.  If I have time, I'll do a post prior to that listing my choices in the four categories (which will be a difficult task, thankfully, due to the high quality of finalists in most of these categories).

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