From Kirkus Reviews
Through his New Wei publishing company, Desai (*The Brotherhood*, 2012) presents this collection of six stories—one of which is a told in three-parts—as the first volume of the Human Tragedy series. In these tales, the collection covers a wide range of voices and topics: “Old Guido” tells of a prejudiced Italian immigrant and his accidental relationship with an underage Hispanic girl; the vignette “Bridget’s Brother” confronts loneliness and family ties; “The Apprentice” describes the Dominican-descended Javier, his Asian masseuse and his struggle up the academic ladder toward a tenured professorship; and “The Mountain” involves a philosophical conversation between two friends on a surprisingly dangerous hike. “Malta: a Love Story,” a 138-page odyssey in three parts, follows the eponymous character from one unfortunate turn of events to another, and the final story, “Dhan’s Debut,” follows an ambitious reporter in New York City as she ferrets out the truth behind a charismatic lawyer. While “Dhan’s Debut” is something of a letdown with its out-of-left-field ending, the other stories speak volumes about the human condition and modern life in America. Best of all, despite their difficult subjects, each one achieves that level of consideration without any sense of judgment or moralizing to cloud the experience; it’s left to readers to make up their own minds about what they just witnessed. Though most of the stories have happy endings, they’re not happily-ever-afters. These endings are real: People die, peace is found or made, and lives are changed—or, sometimes, not. Just like our own lives. And therein lies the power of this first volume, which, while not as grandiose or revolutionary as the fictionalized introduction makes it out to be, is a solid collection of rare caliber.
Difficult subjects portrayed for readers who want to be challenged as well as entertained.
"A great collection of stories...from the oh-so-very satirical title, to the prologue, to each and every story, this book stands out on all accounts...the stories leave an indelible impression on your mind that makes you want to come for more."-Vault of Books
"Good Americans by Tejas Desai offers devastatingly passionate portraits of individuals who represent today's jaded citizenry of American society. It's a collection of stories about the great diversity that exist in America and how it affects the very fabric of our nation. With the world reeling from bloody conflicts driven by the unacceptance of divergent views, nationalities, religions or skin colors--Desai's book is a great study of how we must learn to accept and embrace diversity or live in a world of chaos."-Authors Reading
"While ostensibly about the undesirable elements of society, the underlying question asked of readers by this collection is, what is a Good American? Or more pertinently, what is a good person? It is this question of identity-personal, cultural, societal, national-asked by this collection that poses much food for thought."-Booklover Book Reviews
"This cutting edge short story collection by Tejas Desai gives every reader a very unconventional approach to the contemporary American world...great detailed research done and the way the stories are penned shows it all...use of the perfect ingredients at the perfect place."-Vanya's Notebook