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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.— Rico
Many of the writers are women. Margaret Atwood posits it is time to update the gender of werewolf narratives. Aminatta Forna shatters the silences which supposedly ensured her safety as a woman of color walking in public space. Power must often be seized. The narrator of Lan Samantha Chang's short story finally wrenches control of the family's finances from her husband only to make a fatal mistake. Meanwhile the hero of Tahmima Anam's story achieves freedom by selling bull semen. Australian novelist Josephine Rowe recalls a gallery attendee trying to take what was not offered when she worked as a life-drawing model. Violence often results from power imbalances--Booker Prize winner Ben Okri watches power stripped from the residents of Grenfell Tower by ferocious neglect. But not all power must wreak damage. Barry Lopez remembers fourteen glimpses of power, from the moment he hitched a ride on a cargo plan in Korea to the glare he received from a bear traveling with her cubs in the woods, asking--do you plan me harm?
Featuring work from brand new writers Nicole Im, Jaime Cortez, and Nimmi Gowrinathan, as well as from some of the world's best storytellers, including US poet laureate Tracy K. Smith, Franco-Moroccan writer Le la Slimani, and Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Freeman's: Power escapes from the headlines of today and burrows into the heart of the issue.