Comma Press anthology explores US foreign policy through fiction

Comma Press anthology explores US foreign policy through fiction

Comma Press will publish The American Way: Stories of Invasion in May 2021, the first title in the History-into-Fiction series to step outside of British history. 

The anthology will feature specially commissioned stories by authors from across the globe, including The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) shortlisted Libyan author Najwa Binshatwan and Jhalak Prize-winner Jacob Ross. It will be edited by Comma’s founder and publisher Ra Page and editor-at-large Orsola Casagrande.

In the anthology, US foreign policy from 1945 to present day will be rewritten into fiction, exploring "the human cost of interventions on foreign soil by writers from that soil", says the publisher. It will cover 20 moments in US intervention, such as the CIA-led coup against President Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953, the assassination of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961 and the human rights violations of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq between 2006 and 2007.

Other contributors include Payam Nasser, Peter Onedera, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Ahmel Echevarría Peré, Paige Cooper, Kim Thúy, Huseyin Karabey, Lina Meruane, Gianfranco Bettin, Carol Zardetto, Jacob Ross, Gioconda Belli, Wilfredo Mármol Amaya, Gabriel Angel, Hassan Blasim, Fariba Nawa, Talal Abu Shawish, Najwa Binshatwan and Lidudumalingani Mgombothi. 

Page said: "One of the memes that circulated round the Arab world when Biden was declared the winner of the US election in November was a cartoon of people cheering at a US drone dropping bombs on them, with the caption 'At least we're being bombed by a diverse, politically correct administration!' As America struggles to return to some level of political normality, now is a good moment to remind ourselves what 'normality' has meant for so many decades, to countries the US didn't look kindly on."

Other titles in Comma Press' History-into-Fiction series include Protest: Stories of Resistance (2018) and Resist: Stories of Uprising (2019), both edited by Page.