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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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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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Anthologies (multiple authors)
Fiction / Political
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Literary Collections / American / General
Literary Collections / Essays
Literary Collections / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In his introduction to this one hundredth volume of the beloved Best American Short Stories, guest editor T. C. Boyle writes, “The Model T gave way to the Model A and to the Ferrari and the Prius . . . modernism to postmodernism and post-postmodernism. We advance. We progress. We move on. But we are part of a tradition.”

Boyle’s choices of stories reflect a vibrant range of characters, from a numb wife who feels alive only in the presence of violence to a new widower coming to terms with his sudden freedom, from a missing child to a champion speedboat racer. These stories will grab hold and surprise, which according to Boyle is “what the best fiction offers, and there was no shortage of such in this year’s selections.”

Mulling over the question of character likability, series editor Heidi Pitlor asks, “Did I like these characters? I very much liked reading their stories, as did T. C. Boyle.” Here are characters who “are living, breathing people who screw up terribly and want and need and think uneasy thoughts.”  

T. C. BOYLE, guest editor, has published fifteen novels and ten collections of short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1988 for his novel World’s End and the Prix Médicis étranger for The Tortilla Curtain in 1995, as well as the 2014 Henry David Thoreau Prize for excellence in nature writing. His most recent book is the novel The Harder They Come.

HEIDI PITLOR, series editor, is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.
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.
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book

An immediate national best seller and instant classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls. Richard Russo returns to North Bath—“a town where dishonesty abounds, everyone misapprehends everyone else and half the citizens are half-crazy” (The New York Times)—and the characters who made Nobody’s Fool a beloved choice of book clubs everywhere. Everybody’s Fool is classic Russo, filled with humor, heart, hard times, and people you can’t help but love, possibly because their various faults make them so human.
 
Everybody’s Fool picks up roughly a decade since we were last with Miss Beryl and Sully on New Year's Eve 1984. The irresistible Sully, who in the intervening years has come by some unexpected good fortune, is staring down a VA cardiologist’s estimate that he has only a year or two left, and it’s hard work trying to keep this news from the most important people in his life: Ruth, the married woman he carried on with for years . . . the ultra-hapless Rub Squeers, who worries that he and Sully aren’t still best friends . . . Sully’s son and grandson, for whom he was mostly an absentee figure (and now a regretful one). We also enjoy the company of Doug Raymer, the chief of police who’s obsessing primarily over the identity of the man his wife might’ve been about to run off with, before dying in a freak accident . . . Bath’s mayor, the former academic Gus Moynihan, whose wife problems are, if anything, even more pressing . . . and then there’s Carl Roebuck, whose lifelong run of failing upward might now come to ruin. And finally, there’s Charice Bond—a light at the end of the tunnel that is Chief Raymer’s office—as well as her brother, Jerome, who might well be the train barreling into the station.

A crowning achievement—“like hopping on the last empty barstool surrounded by old friends” (Entertainment Weekly)—from one of the greatest storytellers of our time.
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