ContemporaryThe Office Of Historial Corrections by Danielle Evans

The Office Of Historial Corrections by Danielle Evans

The Office of Historical Corrections consists of six short stories followed by a novella from which the book takes its title. Now, I’m not a big reader of short story collections at *all* yet each of these was so brilliantly crafted and *so* relevant to the world we live in, I was delighted to step outside of my comfort zone. ‘Alcatraz’ was a real highlight for me — a family is left broken by racism when a Black cousin is hidden from other family members. They are brought tentatively back together years later on an awkward trip to, yes, Alcatraz prison, where so much of their history is rooted. I was genuinely left open-mouthed by the conclusion of the novella and texted Chaya to warn her to prepare herself — it was completely shocking, raw and so pertinent, especially after its somewhat whimsical opening. Race, grief, love, family, identity — all of these ingredients are bound up in this remarkable collection that will give you so much food for thought.

~ Sophie 

Huge in the US and published last week in the UK, each short story builds on themes of racial injustice and division. A clear sign of impeccable writing, the author creates such impact with mere pages of text at a time. This reaches an astounding crescendo with the novella, for me the absolute stand out. Certain moments and mic drop worthy lines are seared onto my mind weeks later, giving me an expanded micro understanding of discrimination. When the main character talks about the benefit of being in public with the a white person to give her the air of approval, or the correlation between what she wears and how she is respected or listened to at work, that dialogue hit a real chord. Deeply historical and political, this book makes such a statement about the need for truth in a world saturated with falsehoods. It is hugely courageous, highlighting the disparity between Black and White lives in a hauntingly realistic multi faceted way. The novella is suffused with suspense and the entire collection is a triumph. Thank you so much to our friends at @picadorbooks for our copies.

~ Chaya

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