Thirty-six major contemporary writers examine life in a deeply divided America—including Anthony Doerr, Ann Patchett, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, Hector Tobar, Joyce Carol Oates, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Russo, Eula Bliss, Karen Russell, and many more America is broken. You don’t need a fistful of statistics to know this. Visit any city, and evidence of our shattered social compact will present itself. From Appalachia to the Rust Belt and down to rural Texas, the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest stretches to unimaginable chasms. Whether the cause of this inequality is systemic injustice, the entrenchment of racism in our culture, the long war on drugs, or immigration policies, it endangers not only the American Dream but our very lives.
In Tales of Two Americas, some of the literary world’s most exciting writers look beyond numbers and wages to convey what it feels like to live in this divided nation. Their extraordinarily powerful stories, essays, and poems demonstrate how boundaries break down when experiences are shared, and that in sharing our stories we can help to alleviate a suffering that touches so many people.
About the Author
John Freeman is the editor of Freeman's, a literary biannual of new writing, and executive editor of Lit Hub. His books include How to Read a Novelist and The Tyranny of E-mail, as well as Tales of Two Cities, an anthology of new writing about inequality in New York City today. His latest book is Maps, a collection of poems. His work is translated into more than twenty languages, and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times. The former editor of Granta, he teaches writing at The New School and New York University.
"A brilliant anthology... There is so much excellent writing in the pages of Tales of Two Americas." —Salon
“Poignant and profound, Tales of Two Americas… unites a multiplicity of voices into a powerful rallying cry.”—NPR.org
"Each contribution stands out. Each voice is unique. The only common threads in the collection are theme and excellence... This anthology is spectacular and devastating and provocative." —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“…masterful and affecting stories, essays, and poems by 36 writers profoundly attuned to the sources and implications of social rupture. These are sharply inquisitive and provocative works…” —Booklist (starred review)
“Urgent, worthy reportage from our fractious, volatile social and cultural moment.” —Kirkus