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3.5 

Take Us to a Better Place

By Roxane Gay & Pam Belluck &
Take Us to a Better Place by Roxane Gay & Pam Belluck &  digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A profound and unforgettable original story collection about well-being and the future of health and the planet. With a foreword by bestselling author Roxane Gay and an introduction from Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Pam Belluck. Offered to readers free by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. TAKE US TO A BETTER PLACE: Stories is a collection of powerful, perceptive, and seamlessly crafted fiction that tells multiple truths about the realities of our health and the world in which we live. Roxane Gay writes: “These stories are at once hopeful and cautionary tales. They are, above all, a call to action, offering all of us the opportunity to rise to the occasion of contributing, in ways we can, to a world where a healthier life is possible for all.” Conjuring a future that is at once vivid and hopeful, as well as heartbreaking and perilous, these deeply human stories will linger long after you finish. The stories may also spark new ideas about what a healthy future might hold—and how we might get there. The book features the literary talents of Hannah Lillith Assadi (finalist, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize), Calvin Baker, Frank Bill, Mike McClelland, and Achy Obejas (finalist, PEN/Faulkner); the bold visual storytelling of David Robertson and Selena Goulding; and the searing science fiction/future fiction writing of New York Times best-selling author Yoon Ha Lee (winner, Locus Award), Karen Lord (finalist, Locus Award), futurist Madeline Ashby, and New York Times best-selling author Martha Wells (winner of the Nebula, Hugo and Locus Awards). The stories explore issues such as health care, climate change, immigration, gentrification, and post-traumatic stress disorder with keen observations, fully-drawn characters, and haunting narratives. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation's largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. The Foundation is working alongside others toward its vision of a Culture of Health, where everyone has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. It is in this spirit that the Foundation invited ten authors to write a story about what a Culture of Health means to them. This book is the result and is offered free to readers by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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About Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Non-required Reading 2018, Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Harper’s Bazaar, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times best-selling Bad Feminist, the nationally best-selling Difficult Women, and the New York Times best-selling Hunger: A Memoir of My Body. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel and the editor of Best American Short Stories 2018. She is currently at work on film and television projects, a book of writing advice, an essay collection about television and culture, and a YA novel entitled The Year I Learned Everything. In 2018, she won a Guggenheim fellowship.

Pam Belluck

Pam Belluck is an award-winning health and science writer for The New York Times whose recent honors include sharing a Pulitzer Prize and other national awards for coverage of Ebola. She is author of the acclaimed book Island Practice. She received a Fulbright Scholarship and a Knight Journalism Fellowship, was selected as a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, sits on the TEDMED Editorial Advisory Board, and served on a journalism advisory committee for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her work has been chosen for The Best American Science Writing and The Best American Sports Writing.

Madeline Ashby

Madeline Ashby (“Viral Content”) is a futurist and science fiction writer living in Toronto. A graduate of OCADU, she has worked with Changeist, Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, and others. Her most recent novel is Company Town (Tor Books), a contender on CBC Books’ Canada Reads competition, a Locus and Sunburst Award finalist, and winner of the Copper Cylinder Award.

Hannah Lillith Assadi

Hannah Lillith Assadi (“Paradise”) received her MFA in fiction from the Columbia University School of the Arts. Her first novel, Sonora (Soho 2017), received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. In 2018, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree. Her second novel, The Stars Are Not Yet Bells, is forthcoming from Riverhead. Raised in Arizona, she now lives in Brooklyn.

Calvin Baker

Calvin Baker (“Brief Exercises in Mindfulness”) is the author of four critically acclaimed novels, including Dominion (Grove Press) and Grace (Gallery). His nonfiction has appeared in Harper’s Magazine and The New York Times. In addition, he has taught in the MFA program at Columbia University and at Yale College.

Frank Bill

Frank Bill (“The Masculine and the Dead”) is a blue-collar American author who works 12-hour shifts in a factory in northern Kentucky near where he was born and raised. His previous books (all published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux) include Crimes in Southern Indiana (short stories), The Savage, and Donnybrook, which was adapted for feature film, released in the U.S. by IFC Films in February 2019. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Playboy, Granta, and The Daily Beast, and he is currently working on his third novel.

Karen Lord

Karen Lord (“The Plague Doctors”) is a Barbadian author, editor, and research consultant known for her debut novel, Redemption in Indigo, which was longlisted for the 2011 Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and nominated for the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Her second novel, The Best of All Possible Worlds, won the 2009 Frank Collymore Literary Award, the 2013 RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards for Best Science Fiction Novel, and was a finalist for the 2014 Locus Awards. Its sequel, The Galaxy Game, was published in January 2015.

Mike McClelland

Mike McClelland (“The Flotilla at Bird Island”) is a graduate of Allegheny College, the London School of Economics, the MFA program at Georgia College, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. He’s the author of the short fiction collection Gay Zoo Day (Beautiful Dreamer Press); his work has also appeared in The Boston Review, Queen Mob's Teahouse, and Permafrost. Originally from Meadville, PA, he currently resides in Georgia with his husband and two sons.

Achy Obejas

Achy Obejas (“The Sweet Spot”) is the author of The Tower of the Antilles (Akashik), which was a 2018 PEN/Faulkner finalist. She has written four other books of fiction, edited two anthologies, and translated more than 15 books, including works by Junot Díaz, Wendy Guerra, and Rita Indiana. She has been the recipient of a Ford Fellowship for USA Artists, a National Endowment grant for poetry, and many other honors. Born in Havana, Cuba, she currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson (“Reclamation”) Robertson’s books include When We  Were Alone (Governor General’s Literary Award winner, McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People winner, TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award finalist), Will I See? (winner of the  Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award), and the YA novel Strangers. Robertson writes about Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, reflecting their cultures, histories, and communities, as well as illuminating many contemporary issues. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and lives in Winnipeg.

Martha Wells

Martha Wells ( ”Obsolesence”) has written many fantasy novels, including The Books of the Raksura (Nightshade) and the Ile-Rien series, as well as YA fantasy novels, short stories, media tie-ins (for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: The Gathering's Dominaria expansion), and nonfiction. Her sci-fi novella series, The Murderbot Diaries, was published by Tor.com in 2017 and 2018. She has won a Nebula Award, a Hugo Award, an ALA/YALSA Alex Award, and a Locus Award, and her work has appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the USA Today bestseller list, and the New York Times bestseller list.

Selena Goudling

Selena Goulding (“Reclamation” illustrator) is a freelance illustrator and sequential artist residing in Toronto, Ontario. She has contributed to multiple anthologies and short works of fiction but is best known for her work on Susanna Moodie: Roughing It in the Bush, her first graphic novel.

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