American Tensions

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American Tensions Social Sciences
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Product Description

Selected contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction confront the myth of a classless democracy, redefine the family, deconstruct American notions of race and patriotism, and uncover conflicting tugs of nature, place, and culture in the American psyche.

This anthology brings fresh writers into the company of literary heavyweights Sherman Alexie, Yusef Komunyakaa, Adrienne Rich, Marvin Bell, and Dorothy Allison. Challenging the traditional New Criticism approach to reading, the collection works to re-situate its writers in their social and historical contexts. In so doing, editor William Reichard shows how these authors participate in and shape history.

Praise for American Tensions

"The best anthologies, like the one you've got in your hands right now, are full of wise, deeply felt writing that one reads with an intimation of eternity, as if one were looking up into the stars... Here in your hand is a generous portion of the best contemporary writing about contemporary issues, about our issues, compiled and present to us with generosity and enthusiasm... This book is a gift made to last."
--Ted Kooser, United States Poet Laureate 2004-2006 [from the Foreword]

"This is a powerful collection of down-to-earth yet vivid snapshots of American life in places and situations that the myth of the American dream makes us want to ignore. By turn, it is startling, gritty, and haunting. The poems, short stories and excerpts of novels are unsettling--ideal for provoking conversation about the issues of injustice facing our society at this moment in history."
--Dr. Cris Toffolo, Chair, Justice Studies, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago

"When my friend, the writer and activist Alice Lovelace, shares her wisdom with people contemplating social change work she begins with an admonition: 'Don't even begin to consider this journey unless you are prepared to be changed yourself.' This volume should carry the same warning."
--William Cleveland, author, Art and Upheaval: Artists on the World's Frontlines and Between Grace and Fear: The Role of Arts in a Time of Change

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