Teeny Tiny Review: Tales of Two Americas.
13 June 2018
I liked Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, edited by John Freeman, just okay.
If you'll remember, this one got a lot of press when it came out at the end of last year.
It's a collection of essays and short stories and includes contributions by Rebecca Solnit, Sandra Cisneros, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Russo, Joyce Carol Oates, Roxanne Gay, and Ann Patchett (among many others).
Two things: I'm just kind of done with books like this for now. I can see the two Americas quite clearly from where I live (in my suburban town, I know people who lived in the ritziest sprawl neighborhoods around, who send their kids to a school where 17% of kids get free and reduced-price lunches, and I know people who live in decidedly not-ritzy apartments and send their kids to a school where 41% of the kids get free and reduced lunches. Also I've read a lot of books like this.
Secondly, this book mixed essays with stories, and I DO NOT LIKE THAT. And if you do that, here's what I need: at the head of each chapter, along with the title and author name, you have to list "Fiction" or "Essay." Because I am LAZY with a capital L and I do not like trying to figure out what each chapter is. It's not hard, based on author and style, but still, you should be able to pick up a collection like this and not have to know who all the authors are to figure out what they're writing. Very annoying, and it detracted from the attention I was able to give this collection.