It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art

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In time for the one-year anniversary of the Trump Inauguration and the Women’s March, this provocative, unprecedented anthology features original short stories from thirty bestselling and award-winning authors—including Alice Walker, Richard Russo, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Cunningham, Mary Higgins Clark, and Lee Child—with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen.

When Donald Trump claimed victory last November, the US literary world erupted in indignation. Many of America’s leading writers and artists openly resist the current administration’s dogma and earliest policy moves, and they’re not about to go gently into that good night. In It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art, more than thirty of the most acclaimed modern writers consider the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy—through fiction.

Featuring artwork by some of today’s best known artists, cartoonists, and graphic novelists—including Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast, Marilyn Minter, and Eric Fischl—who cover political, social, and cultural issues, this anthology is a beautiful, enduring collection that will resonate with anyone concerned with the contest for our American soul.
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About the author

Richard Russo is the author of nine novels, two collections of short stories, a memoir, and several produced screenplays. Empire Falls won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and his adaptation of the book for HBO was nominated for an Emmy. His collection of essays, The Destiny Thief, will be published in 2018. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Portland, Maine.

Joyce Carol Oates is the author most recently of the novel A Book of American Martyrs and the story collection DIS MEM BER. She is a recipient of the National Book Award, the National Humanities Medal, the PEN/Malamud Award in Short Fiction, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN America, among other honors. She has been a professor at Princeton University for many years and is currently Visiting Distinguished Writer in Residence in the Graduate Writing Program at New York University; in the spring term she is Visiting Professor of English at University of California, Berkeley. Her forthcoming novel is Hazards of Time Travel.

Neil Gaiman is an award-winning author of books, graphic novels, short stories, and films for all ages. His titles include Norse Mythology, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, The View from the Cheap Seats, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neverwhere, and the Sandman series of graphic novels, among other works. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Eisner awards. The film adaptation of his short story “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” and the second season of the critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated television adaptation of his novel American Gods will be released in 2018. Born in the UK, he now lives in the United States.

Lee Child, previously a television director, union organizer, theater technician, and law student, was fired and on the dole when he hatched a harebrained scheme to write a bestselling novel, thus saving his family from ruin. Killing Floor went on to win worldwide acclaim. The Midnight Line, is his twenty-second Reacher novel. The hero of his series, Jack Reacher, besides being fictional, is a kindhearted soul who allows Lee lots of spare time for reading, listening to music, and watching Yankees and Aston Villa games. Lee was born in England but now lives in New York City and leaves the island of Manhattan only when required to by forces beyond his control. Visit Lee online at LeeChild.com for more information about the novels, short stories, and the movies Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise. Lee can also be found on Facebook: LeeChildOfficial, Twitter: @LeeChildReacher, and YouTube: LeeChildJackReacher.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-seven suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels, and also wrote The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, and Every Breath You Take with bestselling author Alafair Burke. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.

Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. He has published five novels, including the The Death Artist, the Nero Award–winning Anatomy of Fear, and many short stories. He has been editor/contributor of several anthologies as well as the New York Times bestselling serial novel Inherit the Dead. His artwork has been exhibited widely in the US, Europe, and Asia, and is in such public and private collections as the Art Institute of Chicago, Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Newark Museum, among many others. Santlofer is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants and serves on the board of Yaddo. His memoir, The Widower’s Notebook, will be published in 2018. Visit Jonathan at JonathanSantlofer.com

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Reviews

1.3
12 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 16, 2018
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781501179624
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Anthologies (multiple authors)
Fiction / Political
Literary Collections / American / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Joyce Carol Oates
In The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, Joyce Carol Oates offers a sweeping survey of American short fiction, in a collection of nearly sixty tales that combines classic works with many "different, unexpected" gems, and that invites readers to explore a wealth of important pieces by women and minority writers. Some selections simply can't be improved on, Oates admits, and she happily includes such time-honored works as Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" and Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." But alongside these often-anthologized tales, Oates introduces such little-known stories as Mark Twain's "Cannibalism in the Cars," a work that reveals a darker side to his humor. From Melville come the juxtaposed tales "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids," of which Oates says, "only Melville could have fashioned out of 'real' events...such harrowing and dreamlike allegorical fiction." The reader will also delight in the range of authors found here, from Charles W. Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, and Sarah Orne Jewett, to William Carlos Williams, Kate Chopin, and Langston Hughes, to Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. For the second edition, Oates has introduced a wide range of new stories from writers who represent the state of American literature today. These new works include Lorrie Moore's "How to Become a Writer," Richard Ford's "Under the Radar," Junot Diaz's "Edison, New Jersey," David Foster Wallace's "Good People," Philip Roth's "Defender of the Faith," and Amy Hempel's "Today Will Be a Quiet Day." As in the original volume, Oates provides fascinating introductions to each writer, blending biographical information with her own trenchant observations about their work. In addition, she has written a new preface that contemplates our shifting literary culture, and has revised her introductory essay to the first edition, in which she offers the fruit of years of reflection on a genre in which she herself is a master.
Joyce Carol Oates
In The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, Joyce Carol Oates offers a sweeping survey of American short fiction, in a collection of nearly sixty tales that combines classic works with many "different, unexpected" gems, and that invites readers to explore a wealth of important pieces by women and minority writers. Some selections simply can't be improved on, Oates admits, and she happily includes such time-honored works as Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" and Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." But alongside these often-anthologized tales, Oates introduces such little-known stories as Mark Twain's "Cannibalism in the Cars," a work that reveals a darker side to his humor. From Melville come the juxtaposed tales "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids," of which Oates says, "only Melville could have fashioned out of 'real' events...such harrowing and dreamlike allegorical fiction." The reader will also delight in the range of authors found here, from Charles W. Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, and Sarah Orne Jewett, to William Carlos Williams, Kate Chopin, and Langston Hughes, to Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. For the second edition, Oates has introduced a wide range of new stories from writers who represent the state of American literature today. These new works include Lorrie Moore's "How to Become a Writer," Richard Ford's "Under the Radar," Junot Diaz's "Edison, New Jersey," David Foster Wallace's "Good People," Philip Roth's "Defender of the Faith," and Amy Hempel's "Today Will Be a Quiet Day." As in the original volume, Oates provides fascinating introductions to each writer, blending biographical information with her own trenchant observations about their work. In addition, she has written a new preface that contemplates our shifting literary culture, and has revised her introductory essay to the first edition, in which she offers the fruit of years of reflection on a genre in which she herself is a master.
Book 22
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •  Lee Child returns with a gripping new powerhouse thriller featuring Jack Reacher, “one of this century’s most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes” (The Washington Post).

Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?

So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness.

The deeper Reacher digs, and the more he learns, the more dangerous the terrain becomes. Turns out the ring was just a small link in a far darker chain. Powerful forces are guarding a vast criminal enterprise. Some lines should never be crossed. But then, neither should Reacher.

Praise for The Midnight Line
 
“Puts Reacher just where we want him.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A gem.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“A timely, suspenseful, morally complex thriller, one of the best I’ve read this year . . . Child weaves in a passionately told history of opioids in American life. . . . Child’s outrage over it is only just barely contained.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“A perfect example of Lee Child’s talent . . . Lee Child is the master of plotting. . . . This is Child’s most emotional book to date. . . . This is not just a good story; it is a story with a purpose and a message.”—Huffington Post
 
“I just read the new Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. . . . It is as good as they always are. I read every single one.”—Malcolm Gladwell
Book 20
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE GUARDIAN, AND SUSPENSE MAGAZINE • Stephen King calls Jack Reacher “the coolest continuing series character”—and now he’s back in this masterly new thriller from Lee Child.

“Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.

Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang . . . so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way—right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.

Walking away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.

Praise for Make Me

“Child’s Reacher series has hit Book No. 20 with a resounding peal of wisecracking glee. Everything about it, starting with Reacher’s nose for bad news, is as strong as ever. . . . The big guy’s definitely on the upswing. The guy who writes about him is too.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Another winner . . . There’s a reason why Child is considered the best of the best in the thriller genre: He can take all these strange elements and clichés and make them compelling and original.”—Associated Press

“A superb thriller.”—New York Daily News

“Child’s complete command of the story makes this thriller work brilliantly.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“I’ve read all twenty of Lee Child’s novels. Maybe there’s something wrong with me. But I can’t wait for the twenty-first.”—Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

“[The Reacher series] is the current gold standard in the genre. . . . In Make Me Lee Child delivers another Jack Reacher specialty; the total knockout.”—Dayton Daily News

“Child serves up wingding plots, pithy dialogue, extraordinary background on intriguing topics, and cunningly constructed suspense. But what keeps us coming back—by the millions—is the chance to walk around in the skin of that big guy in the middle of everything.”—The Oregonian

“A dark thriller . . . Lee Child’s Make Me, the twentieth in his wildly popular Jack Reacher series, delivers exactly what readers have come to expect from the perennial bestselling author: interesting characters, tight plots and page-turning action. . . . Readers won’t be disappointed.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Jack Reacher is back. . . . Readers new to this series will find this book a good starting point, and fans will be pleased to see Jack again.”—LibraryReads (Top Ten Pick)

“The reigning champ ups the ante.”—Booklist (starred review)
Book 21
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The incomparable hero of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back takes readers to school in his most explosive novel yet. After eleven straight global #1 bestsellers, discover the thrillers that The New York Times calls “utterly addictive.”

Don’t miss a sneak peek of Lee Child’s new novel, The Midnight Line, in the back of the book.

It’s 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind.

Two other men are in the classroom—an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there.

Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor—a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.”

For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don’t get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism.

From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law.

Praise for Night School

“The prose is crisp and clean, and the fighting is realistic. . . . This latest installment has all the classic ingredients: a great setting (Hamburg), a good villain, and a mystery that draws you in efficiently, escalates unpredictably, and has a satisfying resolution.”—The New Yorker
 
“Another timely tour de force . . . The taut thriller is textbook [Lee] Child: fast-paced and topical with a ‘ripped from the headlines’ feel.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
 
“As gripping as ever.”—The Florida Times-Union

Praise for #1 bestselling author Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series

“Reacher [is] one of this century’s most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes.”—The Washington Post
Book 18
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Never go back—but Jack Reacher does, and the past finally catches up with him. . . . Never Go Back is a novel of action-charged suspense starring “one of the best thriller characters at work today” (Newsweek).
 
Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had.
 
Reacher is there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.
 
But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.
 
When threatened, you can run or fight.
 
Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.
 
Combining an intricate puzzle of a plot and an exciting chase for truth and justice, Lee Child puts Reacher through his paces—and makes him question who he is, what he’s done, and the very future of his untethered life on the open road.

Don’t miss Lee Child’s short story “High Heat” and an excerpt from Lee Child's Night School in the back of the book.

Praise for Never Go Back
 
“A breathless cross-country spree . . . some of the best, wiliest writing [Lee] Child has ever done . . . Child’s bodacious action hero, Jack Reacher, has already tramped through 17 novels and three e-book singles. But his latest, Never Go Back, may be the best desert island reading in the series. It’s exceptionally well plotted. And full of wild surprises. And wise about Reacher’s peculiar nature. And positively Bunyanesque in its admiring contributions to Reacher lore.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
 
“Welcome to the relentless world of Jack Reacher and his impressive tendency to be in the wrong place at the right time. . . . Child has created an iconic character that other thriller writers try to emulate but don’t come close to matching. He has a talent for taking material that in the hands of other authors would be stale and making it seem fresh. . . . Tight and compelling . . . Never Go Back is one of Child’s best novels.”—Associated Press
 
“An adrenaline-charged, action-packed thriller . . . impossible to put down.”—Lansing State Journal
 
“The dialogue has never been sharper. . . . The pages turn themselves.”—San Antonio Express-News

“For the pure pleasure of uncomplicated, nonstop action, no one touches Reacher.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“Brilliant . . . Child never, ever slips. He keeps the action cranking better than anyone, but, best of all, he keeps us guessing about Reacher.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“One of the best in the series.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Book 19
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Jack Reacher returns in another fast-moving, action-packed, suspenseful book from Lee Child.
 
You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely, notes Jack Reacher—and sure enough, the retired military cop is soon pulled back into service. This time, for the State Department and the CIA.
 
Someone has taken a shot at the president of France in the City of Light. The bullet was American. The distance between the gunman and the target was exceptional. How many snipers can shoot from three-quarters of a mile with total confidence? Very few, but John Kott—an American marksman gone bad—is one of them. And after fifteen years in prison, he’s out, unaccounted for, and likely drawing a bead on a G8 summit packed with enough world leaders to tempt any assassin.
 
If anyone can stop Kott, it’s the man who beat him before: Reacher. And though he’d rather work alone, Reacher is teamed with Casey Nice, a rookie analyst who keeps her cool with Zoloft. But they’re facing a rough road, full of ruthless mobsters, Serbian thugs, close calls, double-crosses—and no backup if they’re caught. All the while Reacher can’t stop thinking about the woman he once failed to save. But he won’t let that that happen again. Not this time. Not Nice.
 
Reacher never gets too close. But now a killer is making it personal.

BONUS: This edition includes the short story "Not a Drill" and an excerpt from Lee Child's Make Me.

Praise for Personal
 
“The best one yet.”—Stephen King
 
“Reacher is the stuff of myth, a great male fantasy. . . . One of this century’s most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes . . . Child does a masterly job of bringing his adventure to life with endless surprises and fierce suspense.”—The Washington Post
 
“Yet another satisfying page-turner.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
“Reacher is always up for a good fight, most entertainingly when he goes mano a mano with a seven-foot, 300-pound monster of a mobster named Little Joey. But it’s Reacher the Teacher who wows here.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
 
“Jack Reacher is today’s James Bond, a thriller hero we can’t get enough of. I read every one as soon as it appears.”—Ken Follett
 
“Reacher’s just one of fiction’s great mysterious strangers.”—Maxim
 
“If you like fast-moving thrillers, you’ll want to take a look at this one.”—John Sandford
 
“Fans won’t be disappointed by this suspense-filled, riveting thriller.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
“Child is the alpha dog of thriller writers, each new book zooming to the top of best-seller lists with the velocity of a Reacher head butt.”—Booklist
 
“Every Reacher novel delivers a jolt to the nervous system.”—Kirkus Reviews
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