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The most recent anthology of cutting-edge literature from long-time Granta editor John Freeman is all about the glorious (and troubled) place we call home. Matching the Golden State’s diversity of landscape and demographics, the collection offers new work from 30 authors, including William Vollmann (covering the Carr Fire), Rabih Alameddine (remembering San Francisco during the AIDS crisis), Tommy Orange (conjuring a potentially suicidal would-be bank robber), and Santa Cruz’s own Karen Tei Yamashita (sharing the correspondence of a Japanese American man visiting Hiroshima shortly after the bombing). In piece after piece, the writing is poignant, compelling, and thought provoking.
The third literary anthology in the series that has been called "ambitious" (O Magazine
) and "strikingly international" (Boston Globe
), Freeman's: Home
, continues to push boundaries in diversity and scope, with stunning new pieces from emerging writers and literary luminaries alike.
As the refugee crisis continues to convulse whole swathes of the world and there are daily updates about the rise of homelessness in different parts of America, the idea and meaning of home is at the forefront of many people's minds. Viet Thanh Nguyen harks to an earlier age of displacement with a haunting piece of fiction about the middle passage made by those fleeing Vietnam after the war. Rabih Alameddine brings us back to the present, as he leaves his mother's Beirut apartment to connect with Syrian refugees who are building a semblance of normalcy, and even beauty, in the face of so much loss. Home can be a complicated place to claim, because of race--the everyday reality of which Danez Smith explores in a poem about a chance encounter at a bus stop--or because of other types of fraught history. In "Vacationland," Kerri Arsenault returns to her birthplace of Mexico, Maine, a paper mill boomtown turned ghost town, while Xiaolu Guo reflects on her childhood in a remote Chinese fishing village with grandparents who married across a cultural divide. Many readers and writers turn to literature to find a home: Leila Aboulela tells a story of obsession with a favorite author.
Also including Thom Jones, Emily Raboteau, Rawi Hage, Barry Lopez, Herta M ller, Amira Hass, and more--writers from around the world lend their voices to the theme and what it means to build, leave, return to, lose, and love a home.