USD Just Read!

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

About the Book

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.

Summary courtesy of Good Reads

About the Author

John Freeman is the editor of Freeman’s, a literary biannual of new writing, and executive editor of Lit Hub. His books include How to Read a Novelist and The Tyranny of E-mail, as well as two anthologies, Tales of Two Americas and Tales of Two Cities, which include new writing addressing today's social fissures of privilege and inequality in America. Maps is John Freeman’s debut collection of poetry from Copper Canyon Press (Fall 2017). His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times. The former editor of Granta, he teaches writing at The New School and is Writer in Residence at New York University.

About USD Just Read!

USD Just Read! Encourages literacy and deep dialogue on social themes presented through outstanding literature. The program promotes active learning and reading not only within the USD community but within the San Diego community at large. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the book selection will be Between the World and Me, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Various CEE programs will be offered this fall, including two on-campus book discussions, a faculty-led panel discussion, and related films.

Please contact us if you are interested in possible programming, course, and syllabus integration, or any other collaborative projects for next year. 

More information about our Just Read! Faculty Integration Award

More information about our Just Read! Student Essay Contest