A Fictional History Of The United States With Huge Chunks Missing
This diverse collection of short stories spans the history of the United States from 1426 to the year 2011. The seventeen stories approach history with the intent to fill in gaps, give new perspectives, and speak for the intentionally dispossessed. For example, Alexander Chee’s “Wampeshau” explores the possibility that the Chinese discovered America; Keith Knight presents a humorous, insightful, and original slant on an American icon, the Harlem Globetrotters, in a story titled, well, “The Harlem Globetrotters”; and Felicia Luna Lemus gives voice to a woman who participates in a 1937 strike that shuts down a Woolworth’s (the Wal-Mart of the time) in her amusing yet poignant “Five and Dime Valentine.”
As the editors note, this is a serious attempt to tell the truth through fiction. It works! This anthology does not try to be comprehensive, as declared by part of the title (“With Huge Chunks Missing”). What it does do exceptionally well is provide an antidote to the glossy dross that often passes for history. A must read for individuals serious about history, this book belongs on the shelf right next to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and James W. Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.