In the Between gathers together seventeen short stories and two comics created by established and rising stars in American fiction or graphic art, all published since 2000. It speaks to the widening diversity in our population and to our changing society. The stories in this collection present characters from differing multicultural and racial backgrounds, genders, sexuality, and abled-ness, some with intersectional identities and others who are affected by urban gentrification or the decline of their rural town. Each one is trying to find a manageable way of life in America. Taken together, their stories urge us to embrace a complex understanding of who we are as a country and who we can be as individuals.
Brice Particelli, co-editor of this collection, writes,
A big part of our divide is fear-based and protective. It’s focused on keeping cultures insulated. We find ourselves in a culture war built around questions of whether our country is diverse or not, whether our history is more complicated than we want to acknowledge, and around whose stories we are willing to hear. I wanted to capture some of the voices that make up that struggle within this anthology.
In the Between is not a book about politics. Its intimate stories give readers a glimpse into other peoples’ lives with a clear focus on human nature. They feature protagonists who are navigating shifting cultural and personal identities as they go to college, hold down a job, serve in the military, emigrate to a new country, fall in love and/or find a sexual partner, perhaps all while struggling with being treated as “other.” The stories don’t shy away from difficulty or controversy. They provide a realistic portrait of America today.
Here are some examples:
The collection also includes works by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Roxane Gay, Benjamin Alire Saenz, and more.
Hmm, I might enjoy reading some of these. Ryka Aoki wrote one of my favorite SF books of the last few years, Light From Uncommon Stars.
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I’ve heard of that one, but I haven’t read it, yet! I’m going to add it to the list.
I’m not a big fan of short stories (except Saki) but I love that cover and would definitely have picked up that book.