Conditional Citizens in Paperback

I can’t believe it’s been a year since my last update! My collection of essays, Conditional Citizens, comes out in paperback on October 19. The beautiful cover design is by Isabel Urbina Peña, who also designed the paperback cover for The Other Americans. I love hardcovers, but honestly most of my books are paperbacks; they’re light and portable and I find it less sacrilegious to scribble notes all over the pages. Anyway, I hope you’ll suggest Conditional Citizens to your book club, add it to your class reading list, or buy a copy for yourself or a friend. The pandemic continues to affect supply chains, so if you’re thinking of giving it as a gift for the holidays, you should consider pre-ordering your copy now.

Over the last few months, I’ve also written a few pieces that have since appeared in print. I reviewed Matt Salesses’s Craft in the Real World, which I found to be “a significant contribution to discussions of the art of fiction and a necessary challenge to received views about whose stories are told, how they are told, and for whom they are intended.”

More recently, I wrote an essay on the trauma of 9/11, the wars that followed, and the malleability of memory for the New York Times Sunday Review. In it, I reflect on how the U.S. built a national memory around what happened, and what this memory leaves out: “The story America told about itself after Sept. 11 was one of heroism and resilience in the aftermath of a brutal attack; the invasion of other countries, and the interruption of their political destinies, had no place in it.” This piece was tough to write. I’m very grateful to those of you who’ve shared it on social media and emailed me about it.

I’ve also been busy with press in support of foreign translations of The Other Americans. After delays caused by the pandemic, the novel came out in quick succession in German, Dutch, Persian, and Arabic. I continue to do bookstore events, college classes, and festival appearances in support of this book.

As always, I hope you’re staying healthy.