Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Postcards from the End of America

by Linh Dinh

Postcards-f_feature

Roaming the country, mostly by bus, on a shoestring budget, Linh Dinh set out to document, in words and pictures, what life is like for people. From Cheyenne, Wyoming; Salt Lake City, Utah; Reno, Nevada; from Los Angeles and San Jose and Oakland, California; to Camden and Trenton and Vineland, New Jersey; from Chester and Norristown and Levittown, Pennsylvania; from Chicago and Joliet, Illinois and Columbus, Ohio; to Portland, Oregon and Tri-Cities, Washington; from Upper Manhattan to New Orleans; from Jackson, Mississippi to Wolf Point, Montana and Williston, North Dakota and Osceola, Iowa—Dinh walked miles and miles through unfamiliar neighborhoods, talking to whoever would talk to him: the homeless living in tent cities, the peddlers, the protestors, the public preachers, the bartenders and the regulars. With the uncompromising eye of a Walker Evans or a Dorothea Lange, and the indomitable, forthright prose of a modern-day Nelson Algren or James Agee, Dinh documents the appalling and the absurd with warmth and honesty, giving voice to America's often forgotten citizens and championing the awesome strength it takes to survive for those on the bottom. 


Growing out of a photo and political writing blog Linh Dinh has maintained since 2009, Postcards from the End of America is an unflinching diary of what Dinh sees as the accelerating collapse of America. Tracking the economic, political, and social unraveling—from the casinos to the abandoned factories and across all the sidewalks in between—with a poet's incisive tongue and a blogger’s sense of outrage, and a journalist’s eye, Dinh shows us the uncanny power of the people facing societal devastation.

Postcards-f_feature

Buying options

“Linh Dinh is already one of the secret masters of short fiction.”

“Dinh's abrupt epiphanies mix ADD with Thoreau's economy, Calvino's globe-trotting, and a pungent eroticism reminiscent of Kawabata's Palm-of-the-Hand Stories.”

“Linh Dinh's Postcards from the End of America is a collection of some of the most brilliant observations penned on the terminal decline of the American empire. He gives a voice to those rendered invisible by a bankrupt corporate press. He has an unflinching honesty, refusing to romanticize the poor while also writing with great empathy about their lives. He lays bare the predatory evil of corporate capitalism, the death of liberty engendered by our security and surveillance state and the human cost of our system of inverted totalitarianism. He would make George Orwell or Joseph Roth proud. There are few writers in America I admire more.”

“In today's celebrity-obsessed culture so focused on the antics of the wealthy and the famous, Linh Dinh stands as one of the only chroniclers of the gritty underside of our society, a very worthy successor to Jacob Riis of New York City's Gilded Age. In our increasingly impoverished country, if you want to understand the life of the other half—or the other two-thirds—there are few better guides to the texture of those dismal streets and alleys than Postcards from the End of America.”

“If this nation’s ego is represented by the politicians, then its collective unconscious is riding in the seat next to Linh Dinh’s on the Greyhound bus, or slumping on the neighboring stool in the dive bar. In these—what do we call them? new-journalist epistles? prose poems? revelatory philippics? absurdist love letters?—Dinh introduces us to the legion of people not encompassed by any candidate’s plan for economic recovery. This book is a howl of joy and a laugh of despair.”

“Perhaps many liberal and leftist writers think they should reach out to this part of our country, but Linh Dinh is one of the few to do it.”

blog — November 21

Our 2016–2017 Academic Catalog is Here!

Our 2016–2017 academic catalog is here. Download the pdf, and send us an email at academic@sevenstories.com for any questions, comments, or desk or examination copy requests! The catalog's introductory letter to educators can be found below.

Dear educators,

It’s been a strange, trying year. From political coups to police violence to debates over free speech in our universities, the events of today demand an engaged, thorough understanding of the world we live in—not hot takes and misinformation. In our opinion, then, there’s never been a better time to be publishing imaginative, politically engaged voices. Now more than ever, students are eager for new perspectives on topics that once seemed uncontroversial, for independent voices to smash the idols of received wisdom.

No one better exemplifies this spirit of dogged independence than Noam Chomsky. Requiem for the American Dream, his first book devoted entirely to the subject of income inequality, provides a deeply learned, searing historical explanation of how the 99% have been disenfranchised by the ultra-rich. On the heels of his bestselling graphic biography Bernie, Ted Rall’s Trump combats knee-jerk reactions against the titular megalomaniac by telling the broader story of how America's economic decline paved the way for his prominence. Staying on the theme of the United States’ ills, Joel Berg’s America, We Need to Talk gives an in-depth guide to how American citizens can quit using politicians as scapegoats and take responsibility for their nation’s direction. Betsy Hartmann’s The America Syndrome makes the provocative case that apocalyptic thinking has always shaped the American ethos—and that an obsession with the end times has proved more harmful than any other supposed threat. And to round out our red-white-and-blue theme, there’s Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America, a glorious new take on de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America for our ravaged nation.

At Seven Stories, we believe that the imaginative and the analytical are two sides of the same coin. Just as our nonfiction titles are works of inspiration, our fiction titles are engaged with the world. To see what we mean, one need look no further than Ralph Nader’s Animal Envy, a modern-day political fantasy from one of our country’s greatest public advocates. Or Martin Duberman’s Jews Queers Germans, a work of historical fiction that imagines the influential, mostly gay milieu around Kaiser Wilhelm at the turn of the 20th Century. Or the award-winning The Boer War, by Martin Bossenbroek, which intertwines the lives of a young Winston Churchill, a dutch diplomat, and an Afrikaans general, to give us a Rashomon tale of the birth of Apartheid. Finally, Kia Corthron’s magnificent historical novel The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter deftly bridges the political and the poetic in its sweeping look at family, race and loss over the course of an American half-century.

This is just a sample of what you’ll find inside the 2016–2017 academic catalog, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be sharing this list with educators from around the world. We may publish the following titles, but it’s you who bring them to life—by engaging with these books and passing them on, by modifying them and enriching them with your own individual perspectives. And for that we thank you.

At Seven Stories, our policy is to provide you free examination copies of any Seven Stories books in the field in which you teach, without any obligation on your part to adopt the book. Just drop us a line at academic@sevenstories.com. We’d be happy to send you books or answer any questions you might have.

In solidarity,
Seven Stories Press

 

Linh_dinh_in_2015-f_feature

A recipient of a Pew Foundation grant, a David T. Wong Fellowship, a Lannan Residency and, most recently, the Asian American Literary Award, Linh Dinh was born in Saigon in 1963 and emigrated to the United States in 1975. An acclaimed and provocative writer of short stories and contemporary fables, he is also the author of several books of poems and a novel, Love Like Hate. Linh has edited the anthologies Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam and Three Vietnamese Poets. His collection of stories, Blood and Soap, was chosen by the Village Voice as one of the Best Books of 2004. Linh's nonfiction essays have been published regularly at Unz Review, LewRockwell, Intrepid Report and CounterCurrents, and his blog, Postcards from the End of America (linhdinhphotos.blogspot.com), is followed by thousands of readers. He has also published widely in Vietnamese.