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God Bless America: Stories

In his most ambitious collection yet, Steve Almond offers a comic and forlorn portrait of these United States: our lust for fame, our racial tensions, the toll of perpetual war, and the pursuit of romantic happiness.

$17.95

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Synopsis

Winner of the Paterson Fiction Prize
Honorable Mention for Foreword Book of the Year, Short Stories

From a “gifted storyteller” who delivers “always enjoyable, often hysterical stories” (New York Times Book Review) comes a meditation on the American Dream and its discontents. In his most ambitious collection yet, Steve Almond offers a comic and forlorn portrait of these United States: our lust for fame, our racial tensions, the toll of perpetual war, and the pursuit of romantic happiness.

In the exuberant title story, a hapless would-be actor, desperate to escape the drudgery of his existence, lands the role of a lifetime. In “Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched,” reprinted in Best American Short Stories, a psychoanalyst with a secret gambling addiction squares off over the poker table against a damaged ex-patient. In “First Date Back,” a young woman becomes the target of a traumatized soldier’s misguided hopes for love. And “A Dream of Sleep,” the collection’s final story, presents a grief-stricken refugee who tends the graves of a forgotten cemetery, only to have his fragile peace shattered by an unwelcome visitor.

Each of these thirteen stories is an urgent investigation of America’s soul, its particular suffering, its injustices, its possibilities for redemption. With deft sleight of hand, Almond, “a writer who knows us as well as we know ourselves” (Houston Chronicle), leavens his disappointment and outrage with a persistent hope for the men and women who inhabit his worlds. God Bless America offers us an astonishing vision of our collective fate, rendered in Almond’s signature style of “precise strokes . . . with metaphors so original and spot-on that they read like epiphanies” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Details
ISBN: 9780984592234
Price: $17.95
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Pages: 214
Format: Trade paper with French flaps
Story collection

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Steve Almond’s work is funny and completely original.”

Lorrie Moore

Author of A Gate at the Stairs

1/4

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Steve Almond is one of our finest literary provocateurs. His stories are without equal in their beautiful terrible honesty. Stylish and finely wrought, these are tales with the force of life itself. ”

Junot Díaz

Author of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

2/4

AWARD CITATION

“Steve Almond’s amazing versatility, inner psychological landscapes, and sardonic humor prove he is one of the outstanding short story writers of his generation.”

Paterson Fiction Prize

3/4

REVIEW

“A comic masterpiece . . . Almond’s deft touch with both comedy and tragedy make this a memorable and well-crafted collection.”

Library Journal

4/4

About the Author

Steve Almond is the author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, including his most recent story collection, God Bless America, from Lookout Books, and the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American Mysteries series. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. He teaches at the Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard, and hosts the New York Times podcast “Dear Sugars” with fellow writer Cheryl Strayed.

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