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Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation

Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation By John Freeman Tales of Two Americas Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation 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 Ric

  • Title: Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation
  • Author: John Freeman
  • ISBN: 9780143131038
  • Page: 102
  • Format: Paperback
  • Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation By John Freeman 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 America is broken You don t need a fistful of statistics to know this Visit any city, and evidence of our shattered soThirty 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 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.
    Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation By John Freeman

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    One thought on “Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation

    1. Karyl on said:

      As a white woman, this book isn t all that easy to read I do know I have privilege beyond belief, that I am not followed in stores because of my skin tone, that my kids don t have to fear being shot by police for the slimmest of reasons I realize that but for a decision here or there made differently, I have a comfortable home and food on my table, instead of losing my home to foreclosure or becoming a drug addict But even though it is difficult to read, because why challenge the comfort of my o [...]

    2. Jenny Leitsch on said:

      I loved this book but hated reading it Does that make any sense The picture it painted of modern America is a bleak one not that I argue with it , so it wasn t a book to plow through for pleasure That said, I loved the diversity of topics, genres, and geography as well as the compelling voices for change and compassion My favorite pieces were big surprise the narrative nonfiction Trash Food, White Debt, and Worthless Servant were particular favorites.

    3. Jan Priddy on said:

      All you have to do is give a little bit of understanding to the possibility that life might not have been fair from Ann PatchettI might have skimmed 20 pages of this collection There are mostly essays, but stories and poems and a couple of graphics Some works I did not care for, but most I found moving and wise Tears came now and again I was reminded of things I already knew and was taught things I had never imagined When white elite take an interest in the food poor people eat, the price goes u [...]

    4. Emily on said:

      America is divided That is easy enough to see everyday on the news What isn t always easy to see are the stories behind the divisions and the how the thing we may be railing against is actual life for our fellow citizens I picked up this book because I read Kiese Laymon s book How to Slowly Kill Yourself in America on race divisions in the US It was an excellent read and as he has a piece of this anthology I felt it would be a good next step I was not disappointed This anthology mostly covers st [...]

    5. Ariela on said:

      This is an important read Some of the stories were better than others, duh.

    6. Iva on said:

      The subtitle says it all This is a strong collection of mostly non fiction personal experiences Some authors are well known, i.e Joyce Carol Oates, Roxane Gay, Sandra Cisneros, Timothy Egan There are a few poems and short stories as well My favorites were an essay about a man found parked in his driveway by Anthony Doerr a southerner, Brad Watson remembers how his black maid nanny was treated and underpaid by his parents Larry Watson reflects on how an integrated neighborhood in the 50 s changed [...]

    7. Alexis Braun on said:

      It s always hard to review collections of stories or essays, because it s inevitable that you ll like some and not others And that s the case with Tales of Two Americas There were essays I LOVED Death by Gentrification by Rebecca Solnit, Notes of a Native Daughter by Sandra Cisneros, American Work by Richard Russo, To the Man Asleep in Our Driveway Who Might Be Named Phil by Anthony Doerr, and La Ciudad Magica by Patricia Engel There were short stories I loved Dosas by Edwidge Danticat and How b [...]

    8. Jennifer on said:

      An impressive and important collection White debt resonated particularly and all of the fiction was quite good.

    9. Edie Hicks on said:

      Books like this tend to stir people up One of the first lessons our mother taught us was the world is not fair, live with it As a Native American, I would say that those people who think they are being untreated have no idea what the real world is like Before critizing this one, they should live in countries where they have no rights at all.My people suffered, yes, and yet they rose above it They became better for having survived this We have decendents of German Jews who were persecuted beyond [...]

    10. phoebe on said:

      I think this book made me a better person I d call it required reading for every American.

    11. Beth on said:

      I thought this was really well done Sandra Cisneros describes growing up poor in Chicago, Edwidge Danticat tells a story from the perspective of an immigrant home health aide, and Karen Russell investigates the homelessness crisis in Portland Julia Alvarez examines the impact of class when a flight is cancelled, Roxane Gay depicts a woman finally escaping her troubled past, and Sarah Smarsh talks about her brother donating plasma for money Enough to Lose, by RS Deeran, describes a job mowing law [...]

    12. Jillian Doherty on said:

      More developed than short stories, yet shorter than novellas these essays chronicle cultures in which our country doesn t always want to focus on The first story feels like an episode from The Wire, followed by a Haitian drama and their family s inner workings From anecdotes of immigrants and minorities, the everyday families trying to keep their lives moving forward.Some stories speak of seeking out hope through the darkness, while others shed light on diverse struggles or cultures while workin [...]

    13. April on said:

      I loved how diverse the topics, regions, and voices were in this collection of stories articles It pushes home the point that there s no ONE American story and the least we can do is give a bit of understanding to the possibility that life might not have been fair to everyone I only read maybe 60 70% of the stories, but had some favorites Death by Gentrification Killing of Alex Nieto Notes of a Native Daughter reflection of Chicago DOSAS experience of a Haitian immigrant working hard but can t f [...]

    14. Linda on said:

      Actually 4.5 starsTALES OF TWO AMERICAS is edited by John Freeman and contains essays and poems from thirty six contemporary writers such as Larry Watson, Julia Alvarez and many Each author has contributed to these Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation They often write of their youth and what they know, with Sandra Cisernos I changed my name from sand druh sis narrows to sohn druh seez neh ros , for example, contrasting Chicago neighborhoods, describing her childhood and her reasons for lea [...]

    15. Heather on said:

      This collection of over 30 short stories plus some poems is very mixed stylistically It ranges from earnest first person accounts to one fantastical stream of consciousness I wish I had just read the tales of hope or injustice, not the sordid, bleak ones.I can appreciate stories of righteous indignation, like Solnit s tale of Alex Nieto s murder by SF police or Valdez s account of elitism at a private school Patchett s story of the tireless Catholic priest who set up a successful homeless shelte [...]

    16. Martha Chudy on said:

      I m not sure I have been in the right headspace for this anthology It s relatively short, but it took me weeks to read Something about the format was disorienting I found myself enjoying the essays than the short stories, though I was spellbound by Nami Mun s Apartment 1G There are important lessons to learn here I was grateful to have read essays by Richard Russo, Eula Biss, Hector Tobar, Patricia Engel and Ann Patchett And I will surely use Natalie Diaz s American Arithmetic in the classroom [...]

    17. Kirsten Cutler on said:

      This is a collection of stories, poems and essays about two Americas, the haves and have nots Poignant, powerful voices describe the realities of a society dominated by racism, injustice, intolerance, and narrow mindedness One author describes some wealthy women talking about their nannies They have a two for one situation where their children are cared for and also become conversant in Spanish Actually, it is a threefor because these Central and South American nannies are cheaper to employ than [...]

    18. Murray on said:

      This is a wonderful book of essays, short stories, and poems about various forms of inequality in America today Some look at homelessness, gentrification, systemic racism, immigration and income inequality from various communities across the United States San Francisco, Portland, Miami, Nashville, Kansas City, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Depressing at times but hopeful as well My favorite essays were by Roxanne Gay, Anne Patchett, and Anthony Doerr A must read for those who support socia [...]

    19. Sheryl on said:

      This might be one of those, if you only read one book this year books in that it truly captures what is going on in America today Not my America, of 5 lattes, but of people struggling to make ends meet, facing deep questions about identity, and many other important things taking place right now I noticed this book in Denver s Tattered Cover bookstore, and seeing that it included writing by Ann Patchett, Roxane Gay, and Rebecca Solnit was enough to convince me After reading it, I found many, many [...]

    20. Dina Blanc on said:

      I was worried that this book of essays and stories might be too preachy and I did have a little bit of that feeling But, overwhelmingly, I am very happy that I read this book I feel like I gained a lot of insight and perspective on social inequalities in the US in a way that was very meaningful, and personal it really got me thinking about all of the assumptions I grew up with concerning why and how people feel succeed mistaking luck for ability in their lives.

    21. Diane Adams on said:

      A difficult book to read Not the writing many brilliant writers have contributed stories to this collection but the reality of what our country has become, divided and unequal Someone asked me what I was reading, and I described it as a collection of essays I see it listed as nonfiction here on But the Library of Congress information in the book itself describes it as fiction I am not sure whether that makes it any easier.

    22. Ms. Nguyen on said:

      I was able to read this ebook through NetGalley Freeman puts together various stories, some fiction and nonfiction that manage to illustrate a myriad of people living in America, past and present This book was incredibly timely with essays as recent as early 2017 Overall, a great resource

    23. Shelly on said:

      This is written by several different authors, writing several different short stories Some of the stories left me wondering What does this have to do with anything Other stories were very engaging I really had to pick and choose which ones to read to completion Just OK for me An average book that does not require your full attention from start to finish.

    24. Julie on said:

      Took longer than normal to finish this, because sometimes I had to softly read the words out loud to make sure I didn t just skim over an important part Some of these stories, essays, poetry, are downright excellent Some are beyond my comprehension Each chapter is written by a different author A pretty good anthology of race and racial divide in America.

    25. Robbins Library on said:

      An excellent collection of short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by a diverse selection of authors on the topic of inequality in America Longer essays by Rebecca Solnit, Eula Biss, Karen Russell, and Richard Russo are especially good, as is Sandra Cisneros piece about Chicago Will open your eyes and make you think.

    26. Jamie on said:

      If I could give it less than one star I would This is another America is terrible and divided book and life is unfair and we should all have the exact same opportunities Moving on to another better read.

    27. Kate on said:

      One of those rare anthologies where every essay, story, and poem is 100% worth reading There were only two I didn t really like out of thirty six and the rest I really loved This is a great anthology of really excellent, thought provoking writing.

    28. Erik on said:

      Highlights Death by Gentrification by Rebecca Solnit i m sick of pretending to give a shit what whypeepo think by Danez Smith Some Houses Various Stages of Dissolve by Claire Vaye Watkins Apartment 1G by Nami Mun

    29. Sheila Dunbar on said:

      Interesting mix of fiction, non fiction and poetry that focuses on all economic levels of our country Really a must read in this era of a shrinking middle class, immigrant restrictions and blatant entitlement and disassociation of the rich in the U.S.

    30. "Jeff" Hall on said:

      This is not a collection of dry essays This is a diverse group of your favorite authors and poets sharing an emotional approach to inequality They use stories, commentaries, and poems to show what inequality does to people and our society This is a powerful collection.

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