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Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry Paperback – November 1, 1994


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Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry + Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction About Learning to Be American
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; No Edition Stated edition (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014023778X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140237788
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #537,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Aptly titled, this substantial anthology provides exposure to poets, emerging and established-Louis Simpson, Rita Dove, Luis Rodriguez-who write directly from the immigrant, ethnic and/or religious experience. The collection gives evidence of inequality and discrimination, and offers eyewitness accounts of the gross inconsistencies and bigotry of America. The poems tap into visceral energies, either born of or becoming a vitalizing anger; they bristle with a recognition of failed expectations. Thoughtful and attentive, the mother/daughter editorial team of the Gillans divides the book into sections concerned with "uprooting," "performing," "naming," "negotiating" and, finally and hopefully, "re-envisioning." The most moving poems concern a loss of home and custom, and the compromises struck in order to make life tolerable in a quietly (and not so quietly) intolerant society. Also distressing is work describing the intense desire of some poets to assimilate-efforts later remembered as humiliating. This collection is a must for anyone seeking an inclusive, unwincing catalogue of the American experience.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA?Featuring well-and lesser-known American poets from a variety of cultural backgrounds, this volume presents fresh poems that tell the "American stories" of writers such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Soto, Louise Erdrich, Ethelbert Miller, and Lucille Clifton. Selections are grouped by broad themes: "Uprooting," "Performing," "Naming," "Negotiating," and "Re-Envisioning." The editors deliberately selected works that "...did not create a pluralistic play of voices, or...make a simplistic call for diversity, but...that directly address the instability of American identity and confront the prevalence of cultural conflict and exchange within the United States." It is this focus and the conscious effort to avoid producing yet another supermarket survey of multicultural literature that make the book such a find. Brief biographical information is included.?Gretchen Portwood, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

The author's debut novel THE PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL was published in trade paperback and kindle in 2011.

** AUTHOR NOTE. In May 2013, the author published a revised edition of PROSPECT in both formats. They are now available. The new version includes book reviews, discussion questions, and the opening 20 pages of his new novel THE HOPE STORE. Also PROSPECT was been re-proofed. **

PROSPECT is general fiction with a sci-fi spin. It was named one of the top three books of 5,000 in the Amazon novel contest in 2008, garnering fine reviews from Publishers Weekly in 2008 and 2009. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, expanded distribution and fine book stores.

Born and raised in Chicago, Dwight Okita started his writing life as a poet with Tia Chucha Press publishing his book of poetry Crossing with the Light. He wrote personal essays for WBEZ, the Chicago affiliate of NPR, and read his poetry on Ira Glass' popular radio show "This American Life." He soon found himself reincarnated as a playwright, with produced plays including The Rainy Season, the darkly comic short play Richard Speck.

Okita continues to get nibbles from film producers interested in his work. Nicholas Bogner is his manager based in LA working to get film projects.

To see a book trailer for his novel PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzRMzye7Qbo

Okita continues to live in Chicago where he drinks too much coffee and is grateful for the diverse circle of friends, family, and colleagues that allow him to be part of their lives. You're welcome to visit his website at DwightOkita.com for Dwight's latest news.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Guy L. Gonzalez on December 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Forget the status quo of the Norton anthologies and the self-importance of the Best of American Poetry series; this is THE anthology that belongs on everyone's shelves. The Gillan's have compiled and arranged an eclectic selection of work from a great combination of poets both well-known and should-be-better-known. Broken into five thematic "chapters," it is laid out like a narrative, with different poets effortlessly flowing into one another and can be read from cover to cover like your favorite historical novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
If this book is not on your shelves, or better yet, in your bag, you are wrong! Put it right next to your Norton. It's that important...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
UNSETTLING AMERICA does just that. It brings into question settled ideas of American-ness and what it means to be an American. In additon the organziation of the book is such that the authors appear to be having a conversation about various aspects of conneaction and lack of connection to their own roots and cultures and to America as amelting pot and an opportunity to reinvision the promise of America. The work is clear, powerful, moving, exciting. It works out very well in a classroom or discussion group as it is very thought provoking. Also it makes great bedside reading. I relaly love this booka nd have bought many copies to share with my friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
One of the most honest and needed collections around. This anthology is wonderfully edited with a great selection of writers and work. It is very comprehensive and is loaded with truths America needs to hear. Hats go off to the editors !
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