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A Fictional History of the United States (with Huge Chunks Missing) [Paperback]

By T. Cooper (Editor) & Adam Mansbach (Editor)
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Item description for A Fictional History of the United States (with Huge Chunks Missing) by T. Cooper & Adam Mansbach...

"This is a people's history' with tongue in cheek, delightfully funny, imaginative, but with a subtle undertone of seriousness. I enjoyed it immensely."
--HOWARD ZINN, author of A People's History of the United States

Original stories & artwork by:
Daniel Alarcon, Amy Bloom, Kate Bornstein, Alexander Chee, T Cooper, Keith Knight, Ron Kovic, Paul La Farge, Felicia Luna Lemus, Adam Mansbach, Valerie Miner, Tommy O'Malley, Neal Pollack, David Rees, Sarah Schulman, Darin Strauss, and Benjamin Weissman.

History is distorted the moment it's recorded--and in these politically dishonest times, challenging the stories we're told is more important than ever. In this groundbreaking anthology of original fiction, a diverse group of America's best writers takes on the task of creating counter-narratives to mainstream American history. Here are some of the moments and the people left out of the textbooks. Here is what else happened--on the margins of American life, and in between the lines of our history books.

A Fictional History of the United States with Huge Chunks Missing brings together an eclectic array of celebrated authors and cartoonists to create a patchwork, anecdotal history of this complicated country. From the Chinese discovery of America in 1426 to the new McCarthyism of a post-9-11 world, this collection recasts everything from the moon landing to the Lindbergh kidnapping, westward expansion to the sexual proclivities of Civil War officers. Riveting, inventive, and politically vital, this anthology picks up--and yanks on--America's supposed commitment to seeking the truth . . . even if that truth is revealed in fiction.

T Cooper is the author of the novels Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes (Dutton) and Some of the Parts (Akashic). T lives in New York City. For more information visit

Adam Mansbach is the author of the novels Angry Black White Boy (Crown), Shackling Water (Doubleday), and the forthcoming The End of the Jews (Spiegel & Grau/Doubleday). He lives in Berkeley, California. For more information visit

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Item Specifications...

Pages   331
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2006
Publisher   Akashic Books
ISBN  193335402X  
ISBN13  9781933354026  

Availability  0 units.

More About T. Cooper & Adam Mansbach

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! T Cooper's debut novel Some of the Parts, was a B&N Discover Program selection and a Quality Paperback Book Club pick. Her work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, the Believer, and The Future Dictionary of America (McSweeney's Books). Her second novel, Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes is forthcoming from Penguin/Plume. T lives in New York City.

T. Cooper currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Anthologies

Reviews - What do customers think about A Fictional History of the United States (with Huge Chunks Missing)?

Insights on history, irony and truths make for important reflections and insights.  Sep 24, 2006
A FICTIONAL HISTORY OF THE US WITH HUGE CHUNKS MISSING is a story collection and could've been featured in our literary section, but is reviewed here because any history buff will find it appealing and fun. Authors and cartoonists work together to provide a patchwork medley of original history, from the moon landing to McCarthyism and beyond. Insights on history, irony and truths make for important reflections and insights.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
U.S. History not boring anymore  Aug 31, 2006
This is not only a terrific read but also a groundbreaking fiction anthology.

Each story in the collection gives us new insights into U.S. history that facts alone cannot convey. Interestingly, by fictionalizing certain historical events, the stories arrive at unspoken truths about these events.

Among the stories you will find new, humorous, and interesting insights on what really happened to Lindbergh's son, what was life like for a 1920's immigrant woman, and a view of what the U.S. political landscape might look like in the not-so-distant future if things continue going the way they are.

This anthology proposes a new, fresh look at U.S. history not taught in classrooms or history books. It is what makes it a great and uncompromising work. Don't miss.

Mostly Fails to Deliver the Goods  Aug 4, 2006
According to the introduction, the stated goal of this anthology of short fiction is: "to move beyond the obvious and the canonical: to challenge, tease, and expand upon the hegemonic single-narrative of mainstream American history." The editors go on to invoke Howard Zinn's classic "People's History of the United States", and wind things up by describing the seventeen stories as "riveting, inventive, timeless, funny, and... politically vital." Indeed, the blurb on the back cover advises the reader to "be prepared to experience American history in an entirely new way." With this kind of of buildup, it's not surprising that while there are some nice highlights, the overall anthology is somewhat of a letdown. I definitely believe that fiction can be used to explore history, and I'm all for hearing the unheard voice, but the seventeen stories are often only tangentially related to compelling themes of U.S. history, and are so clustered within the last hundred years that the vital broader perspective is lacking.

As with all anthologies, different readers will have different favorites. Stories I liked a lot: Paul La Farge's riffs on who really "discovered" America, David "Get Your War On" Rees' 2-page visual contribution on the poll tax, Felica Luna Lemus' take on the 1937 Woolworth's strike in Detroit, Ron "Born on the 4th of July" Kovic's brief satire of military recruiting at high schools, Valerie Miner's flashback look at the McCarthy era in suburban Seattle. Stories I liked bits of: Alexander Chee's riff on Gavin Menzies' controversial book "1421: The Year the Chinese Discovered America", Kate Bornstein's pastiche about how Huckleberry Finn became a transvestite prostitute, Neal Pollack's satire of contemporary media mores at the time of the Lewinisky affair. Stories I didn't care for: everything else. I like the premise of this collection, but few of the contributors really deliver the goods.

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