Tales of Two Americas Common Book

"America is broken. You don't need a fistful of statistics to know this. Visit any city, and evidence of our shattered social compact will present itself. From Appalachia to the Rust Belt and down to rural Texas, the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest stretches to unimaginable chasms. Whether the cause of this inequality is systemic injustice, the entrenchment of racism in our culture, the long war on drugs, or immigration policies, it endangers not only the American Dream but our very lives.

In Tales of Two Americas, some of the literary world's most exciting writers look beyond numbers and wages to convey what it feels like to live in this divided nation. Their extraordinarily powerful stories, essays, and poems demonstrate how boundaries break down when experiences are shared, and that in sharing our stories, we can help to alleviate a suffereing that touches so many people."

There are 36 contributing authors, including Kiese Laymon, Sarah Smarsh, Natalie Diaz, Roxane Gay, and Julia Alvarez.

(Materials provided by Random House)

A Letter from Vice Provost, DeAngela Burns-Wallace

If you would like to learn more about the selection of the 2019-2020 KU Common Book, please read this letter from DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. 

A Letter from the Final Review Committee

This letter from Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Interim Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity, Jennifer Ng and Archana Ramakrishnan, Junior in Engineering, explains why Tales of Two Americas is a good choice for KU. 

Requesting a Review Copy

We have a limited number of copies available for those interested in using Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work in their classroom. Due to high demand, we are only able to provide one book per instructor. To request a review copy, please email commonbook@ku.edu with the following information:

  • Name of instructor of record
  • Department
  • Course name
  • Course number
  • How do you anticipate using the book in your course?

Departments interested in ordering copies of Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist and Work may do so at a discounted rate through the KU Bookstore. For more information, please contact:
Mike Engel, Book Buyer, KU Bookstore