Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation
“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)
“A penetrating multidisciplinary collection attacking today’s social fissures of privilege and inequality [with a] uniformly high quality of contributors. Most address the topic obliquely, avoiding bombast in favor of grounded social narrative or the perspective offered by formative experience… Urgent, worthy reportage from our fractious, volatile social and cultural moment.” —Kirkus
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.