Literature and art as resistance


While some may approach Trump’s first anniversary with a forlorn weariness, an all-star lineup of artists and authors instead are marking it as a milestone of creative engagement.

Conceived and edited by best-selling novelist Jonathan Santlofer, "It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art" features original work from Alice Walker, Walter Mosley, Neil Gaiman, Lee Child, Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast and more, with royalties going to support the ACLU.

"We made this book in six months," Santlofer told Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams on "Salon Talks," adding, "I don't know how we did it." Discussing what distinguishes this anthology, Santlofer said, "I did not want political essays. I wanted them to be politically charged, but I asked writers for stories. I felt there was enough polemic out there. I wanted great stories that would make people think, artwork that would make people think, and that's what we got."

One of those thought-provoking contributions comes from National Book Award finalist Angela Flournoy, whose contribution is the witty, chilling "The Miss April Houses". "It's about the way we as a country will go to ludicrous steps to avoid addressing our own past and just calling a thing what it is."

Santlofer observed, "I think everyone, artists, are galvanized by a moment. How do you deal with that moment? I wanted people to have something that would be beautiful, smart and enjoyable in that way after a bee sting goes away…. I didn't want this to be like every other resistance book. I wanted to create something that also celebrated our culture, and what we have to say."

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