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Office of Historical Corrections
Evans’ second story collection is deadly and funny, with equal emphasis on both. There were so many fantastic contributions in African-American fiction this year, but Evans stands out with the way her barreling plots knock her characters off their feet, with barely enough time for the narrator to catch up and explain what happened. Evans is a genius at dramatizing the absurd comedic dance of racism, particularly in the book-capping novella. Can art serve as a corrective to history? Evans’ answer is surprising, inventive, and widens her own literary landscape. But it is worth noting that the stories that precede the novella are not simply preamble to the main event; they are each formidable visions of the fears produced by the disease of racism, and should be savored individually. Evans is a short story writer, a rare master of the form, and one should not sit waiting for her novel in order to begin reading her work.