cover image The Fruit of All My Grief: Lives in the Shadows of the American Dream

The Fruit of All My Grief: Lives in the Shadows of the American Dream

J. Malcolm Garcia. Seven Stories, $21.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-60980-953-9

Studs Terkel Prize–winning journalist Garcia (The Khaarijee) tells 11 stories about people harmed by corporations, judges, and governments, with deep empathy and incredible attention. Jamie and Gladys Scott served 16 years for a robbery they did not commit; Dickie Joe Jackson was incarcerated for life for hauling drugs to raise over $100,000 for his son’s medical treatment. Mexican roofer and father Sixto Paz sought sanctuary in a church after Homeland Security refused to renew the work permit he’d had for 25 years. The people of Greenbrier, Ark., find their health affected by fracking but have few economic options other than working for the gas companies. A veteran whose health was destroyed by toxic garbage “burn pits” in Iraq finds the VA is unwilling to take responsibility. Iraqi and Afghan translators residing in the U.S. on special visas because their work for the American military made them unsafe at home must do without practical support from the U.S. government. Garcia respectfully presents the realities his subjects are facing from their own perspectives, and he has a gift for polishing the story of a life until its heart shines through. This humane, urgent work will move readers. (Sept.)