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

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

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 in...

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Title:It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art
Author:Jonathan Santlofer
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It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art Reviews

  • David Melbie

    Wholeness. Well-being. Strength. Freedom. Escape. Rescue. Refuge. Spectacular! My favorite was the poem,

    by Neil Gaiman.

  • Dorothy

    I'm astonished that more people did not like this book as much as I did. The title is a line borrowed from a poem by Allan Ginsberg. The book is an anthology of prose and art by some of America's best writers and artists. It was put together shortly after the election of Donald Trump as a means of reminding both Americans and the world that democracy and liberal attitudes still exist in the USA in spite of the election results. Some of the stories work better than others which is what you would

    I'm astonished that more people did not like this book as much as I did. The title is a line borrowed from a poem by Allan Ginsberg. The book is an anthology of prose and art by some of America's best writers and artists. It was put together shortly after the election of Donald Trump as a means of reminding both Americans and the world that democracy and liberal attitudes still exist in the USA in spite of the election results. Some of the stories work better than others which is what you would expect from an anthology that involves many different writers. For me, the cartoons did not work as well as the prose but I believe that is down to personal preference.

  • Jason Robinson

    A powerful and accessible anthology of short stories, essays, and art collected by and sponsored by the ACLU in response to the first complete year of the Trump Administration.

  • Veronica Rivera

    This book is a hodgepodge of all kinds of American writers that reflect what America is today a melting pot of several cultures that call America home. This book was published at the year mark of the current administration in Washington and reflects points of view and stories along with photography from American writers across the country. Some of the names are well known and some not as known but have writing accolades and awards.

    Recommendation for reading, since these are short stories, I actu

    This book is a hodgepodge of all kinds of American writers that reflect what America is today a melting pot of several cultures that call America home. This book was published at the year mark of the current administration in Washington and reflects points of view and stories along with photography from American writers across the country. Some of the names are well known and some not as known but have writing accolades and awards.

    Recommendation for reading, since these are short stories, I actually started with those authors I was familiar with and then worked my way around the book based on title of the piece written, some were experiences of the "new" immigrant as they became aware of their place in America, and some are stories of how we treat each other even today based on race, color, religion. Given that freedom of religion was part of why this country was founded oh so many years ago, why are we still dealing with some of those issues even today?

    Fair warning this book has received mixed reviews from 2 stars to 5 stars, and the reasons are just as diverse as the people who have read it, but as always disagreement can lead to discussion and that is what makes literature great to begin with.

  • Andrea

    I wanted to like this book so bad.  I was so excited when it was released.  A collection of fiction and art themed around a liberal and timely political message?  Yes, please.  My high expectations were affirmed as I began reading an inspired introduction from Viet Thanh Nguyen, who remarks:

    "Rather than making America great again, we should help America love again."

    But as I continued reading, my expectations for enjoying each story decreased.  When I finally finished, I was shocked to find that

    I wanted to like this book so bad.  I was so excited when it was released.  A collection of fiction and art themed around a liberal and timely political message?  Yes, please.  My high expectations were affirmed as I began reading an inspired introduction from Viet Thanh Nguyen, who remarks:

    "Rather than making America great again, we should help America love again."

    But as I continued reading, my expectations for enjoying each story decreased.  When I finally finished, I was shocked to find that I hated a collection from such a distinguished group of authors, many of whom I already love.  There were a few shining exceptions, but most of the contributions felt gimicky. If pressed for a rating of the overall anthology, I would average them out to two stars.  Approximately 80% were 2-stars or less, 15% were 3-stars, and 5% were 4-stars. 

    Intersections by Mark Di Ionna stood out as my favorite.  I found this short story to be a very realistic humanization of immigration law from the perspective of a criminal defense attorney.  It’s a touching story of love and forgiveness, but the story raises important questions regarding the deportation of criminals – a policy that on its face seems uncontroversial.  What could be more justified than the deportation of individuals who do not follow the rules of our society?  In practice, the pain caused by such a broad and ill-advised policy is arbitrary.

    For me, the final straw was White Baby by James Hannaham. I am still angry about it a few days later and would give it NEGATIVE 5-stars. Without too much of a spoiler, it started out a very apt commentary about race featuring a black couple who had requested to adopt a white baby. The story concluded as one of the most unnecessarily grotesque things I have ever read. Cheap and insensitive. Like being tricked into watching a snuff video clip in the credits of an otherwise good film. Ugh.

    I am very disappointed to give this book a “no rec.”  I was so excited based on the theme.  There are a few excellent selections, but they are not worth perusing through the bulk of clichéd, attention-seeking, unoriginal tripe.  

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