Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 163: Sara Novic, Girl at War


Our book this week is Sara Novic’s Girl at War, a novel about a young woman whose life was ripped apart by the Yugoslav Civil War. It took her parents from her, and briefly turned her into a child soldier, before she was able to escape to Philadelphia, where she did her best to put the past in the past and live as an American.

The book received mostly positive reviews, like this one in the New York Times, though we also discuss the book’s most over-the-top takedown, from the Irish Times.


In the second half of the show, we’ve got the return of Fan Fiction Corner! Have you ever wondered what kind of fan fiction people were writing about HGTV programs? No? Well, you’re going to find out anyway!


As always, you can listen to the episode right here on our site, by clicking on the player thingy below. Or download the mp3 file and do with it what you will. You can also find us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free!) and never miss another installment again.

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Thanks for listening!


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

4 thoughts on “Episode 163: Sara Novic, Girl at War

  1. Hi, guys,

    Strong episode today. You’re right about the strangeness and pettiness of the Irish Times review. As I’m writing a novel about the Croatian conflict myself, I’ve read Girl at War and The Hired Man, and Sara’s book is better, both dramatically and in keeping a reader’s interest. Although Sara’s book has a few flights of fancy (see this great article in the Massachusetts Review:, its commentary on trauma feels right.


    PS. Thanks for the blurb last week.

    • Thanks, Chris! Thanks for the link. Surprised neither of us turned that up earlier, but happy to read more about this book.

  2. Hi folks, This is Corwin Ericson, author of Checked Out OK. Here’s some recent reports from the Amherst Bulletin:
    2:05 p.m. – Yelling inside a home at Echo Village Apartments was determined to be a child refusing to take a nap.
    1:47 p.m. – A Belchertown Road resident reported getting a Fruit Roll-Up and a smiley face in the mail, possibly from someone who attended a performance she gave in Northampton. Police advised her to contact the post office.
    Thanks for recommending the book!

    • Hi Corwin – thank you! I’ve used bits from your book twice already as writing prompts in my creative writing class, and I just love flipping to random pages and seeing what the people of Amherst are up to.

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