The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories

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Danielle Evans
9781594487330
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$30.99
WINNER OF THE 2021 JOYCE CAROL OATES PRIZE NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY O MAGAZINE, THE NEW YORKER, THE WASHINGTON POST, REAL SIMPLE, THE GUARDIAN, AND MORE   FINALIST FOR: THE STORY PRIZE, THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE, THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE, THE CHAUTAUQUA PRIZE "Sublime short stories of race, grief, and belonging ....
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WINNER OF THE 2021 JOYCE CAROL OATES PRIZE


NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY O MAGAZINE, THE NEW YORKER, THE WASHINGTON POST, REAL SIMPLE, THE GUARDIAN, AND MORE

 

FINALIST FOR: THE STORY PRIZE, THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE, THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE, THE CHAUTAUQUA PRIZE


"Sublime short stories of race, grief, and belonging . . . an extraordinary new collection . . ." --The New Yorker

"Evans's new stories present rich plots reflecting on race relations, grief, and love . . ." --The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice


"Danielle Evans demonstrates, once again, that she is the finest short story writer working today." --Roxane Gay, The New York Times-bestselling author of Difficult Women and Bad Feminist

The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history.

Danielle Evans is widely acclaimed for her blisteringly smart voice and X-ray insights into complex human relationships. With The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters' lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief--all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history--about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight.

In "Boys Go to Jupiter," a white college student tries to reinvent herself after a photo of her in a Confederate-flag bikini goes viral. In "Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain," a photojournalist is forced to confront her own losses while attending an old friend's unexpectedly dramatic wedding. And in the eye-opening title novella, a black scholar from Washington, DC, is drawn into a complex historical mystery that spans generations and puts her job, her love life, and her oldest friendship at risk.

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"No other fiction I've read this year wears its profundity so lightly." -- The New Yorker

"Evans's stories and their sensitivity to issues around race and power feel particularly resonant in 2020." -- The New York Times

"The title novella manages to combine George Orwell's bureaucratic chill from 1984 with Toni Morrison's elegant judgments from Beloved." -- The Washington Post 

"Perceptively touch[es] on current controversies like cancel culture and the disputes over historical monuments. But these are, first and foremost, character-driven stories, and the arguments play out most forcefully in the minds of the young black women searching for some livable balance between guilt and forgiveness. . . . Ms. Evans is also funny in a droll, puncturing way, as inclined to mine trauma for mordant humor as for sentimentality." -- The Wall Street Journal

"Evans's propulsive narratives read as though they're getting away with something, building what feel like novelistic plots onto the short story's modest real estate. No surprise, then, that this collection concludes with its title novella, about a Black professor who quits her job to work for the city government, correcting factual mistakes in the public record. The story marries Melvillian mundanity with melodramatic suspense. I could have kept reading for pages." -- The New York Times Book Review

"[Evans is] a master of the form, and her new collection is a sharply observed and perfectly aligned universe. With wry observation and an ear for the inner and outer monologue, Evans vividly creates microclimates that examine the ponderous nature of grief, the infinitesimal line between micro- and macroaggressions, and the fog of relationships. An essential read." -- Elle

"Evans is a writer with a gift for the sudden knife in the ribs. . . . I hurtled through these stories and ended each one gasping back tears." -- The Huffington Post

"These stories offer the lose yourself depth of a novel in intense, digestible portions. Evans is blessed with perfect pitch when it comes to dialogue--both in terms of what is spoken and what goes unsaid." -- Tayari Jones in The Guardian (London)

"[A] collection for the moment. Evans skillfully interprets cancel culture, fake news, and political cults in order to craft a unique critique of the country's underlying racism. The success of the collection stems from balancing the gloom of racism with Evans wry commentary. The snarky narrative voice cuts deeply. These stories are now even more necessary." --Chicago Review of Books

"Danielle Evans' dynamite new collection proves a study in the form. Slices of life, each piece in Corrections captures its own mood, hums to distinct rhythms, and locates unique spaces for empathy and pain and catharsis. They're also delectably readable, propulsive accounts of loss and fear and redemption that twist with O. Henry-level glee. . . . The titular novella [is] a masterpiece of tension and mystery." -- Entertainment Weekly

"These scorching stories . . . take a headlong plunge into the murky waters of identity, race, and love." --O, The Oprah Magazine

"A new collection so smart and self-assured it's certain to thrust her into the top tier of American short story writers. . . . The hands-down masterpiece of the collection is the title novella. . . . a deftly plotted mystery that . . . thrillingly leaves the big reveal to the very end . . . Reading these stories is like that amusement park ride--afterward, you feel a sense of lightness and exhilaration." -- USA Today

"Danielle Evans' unrelenting wit and compassion are on dazzling display." --Star Tribune

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The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories
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