An Anthology That Celebrates America
Jonathan Santlofer has done an amazing job of bringing together a dynamic roster of brilliant authors and artists to take part in an anthology that celebrates America and the work of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is now in its 98th year.
In It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art writers and artists consider the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy.
Among the contributors are Alice Walker, Richard Russo, Walter Mosley (MWA Grand Master), Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Cunningham, Mary Higgins Clark (MWA Grand Master), and Lee Child—with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen.
It was Helen Keller, one of the founders of the ACLU, who said: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
It is certainly the case in this beautifully produced volume which features artwork by some of today’s best known artists, cartoonists, and graphic novelists—including Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast, Marilyn Minter, and Eric Fischl—who cover political, social, and cultural issues.
The title of Jonathan Santlofer's story, Hope, is so appropriate for this book. It does not matter that the initial impetus for this book was disappointment, frustration, and fear. The truth is that the American spirit can and does come together in truly miraculous ways. Everyone involved in this important book donated their royalties, services and time to create this book. Their stories deserve to have a wide audience because, in the end, these writers celebrate in their writing the joy of living in a free country where they can write whatever they want.
THEY ARE AMERICA.
Helen Keller - One of the Founders of the ACLU
Helen Keller saw -- without the benefit of sight -- the good in humanity. She hoped that the ACLU would stand up for people when they were in need and be in the forefront of celebrating American democracy. Whatever the initial impetus for this book might have been, the hope is that anger or disappointment can be transformed into the hope that we will all come together and be of good cheer.
“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” - Helen Keller
Interview with Jonathan Santlofer - January 16, 2018
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It would be great if the authors would do an Audible version!