Steve Almond’s “God Bless America”

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Had the pleasure of seeing Steve Almond read again last night, this time in SC at the Hub City Bookshop. While the poor guy looked exhausted and the reading was a quick hit on a long book tour, he still managed to make us laugh. But there is more to Steve Almond than the clown – in the things he says and through his fiction he seems to encourage empathy and compassion in a world drowning in solipsism and materialism. My newspaper suggests he is correct as it tells stories of insular college athletic programs in which real criminals are given shelter and shoppers pepper spray each other for the chance at a $2 waffle iron. God bless America.

When he signed my copy of his new collection God Bless America, he added: “It all leads to mercy.” Not sure what “it” is (stories? the act of employing compassion itself?), but I like the idea of a little more compassion in the Isles of Walmart.

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