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The Office of Historical Corrections : A Novella and Stories
by Danielle Evans




Overview -
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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More About The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans

 
 
 

Overview

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.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594487330
  • ISBN-10: 1594487332
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: November 2020
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The Office of Historical Corrections

Racism is an insidious beast. It can find its way into any situation, as Danielle Evans shows in the stories and novella in The Office of Historical Corrections. Evans emerged as an important voice in American literature with her 2010 debut short story collection, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, and she once again demonstrates impressive artistry and humor as she chronicles shocking episodes of discriminatory behavior.

In “Happily Ever After,” Lyssa works in the gift shop for a replica of the Titanic, but she never gets to work the museum’s princess parties because, her boss says, of historical accuracy: There were no Black princesses on the Titanic. In “Boys Go to Jupiter,” a white college student poses for pictures in a Confederate-flag bikini and is surprised by the pain it causes Black students. Other stories dig deeper, such as “Anything Could Disappear,” about a Black woman forced to care for a 2-year-old Black child who is deliberately left next to her on a bus by the child’s white caregiver.

Not every story deals with race, as with the funniest story, “Why Won’t Women Just Say What They Want,” in which a “genius artist” stages public apologies to the women he has wronged. However, most stories do, and the sharpest piece is the title novella, about a government agency that adds emendations to incorrect placards at historical sites, a job that becomes surprisingly dangerous. As a child, the novella’s protagonist consoled a Black friend who had lost a debate tournament, declaring her a better debater than her white competitors. “But it’s never going to be enough,” replied the friend. Evans’ book shows that that painful truth hasn’t disappeared.

 

BAM Customer Reviews