“I Wouldn’t Compromise My Vision for What I Perceived This Anthology to Be”: Jennifer Baker on the Making of “Everyday People”

In fourteen dazzling, exquisite, carefully selected stories, including by some of our most famous authors, ranging from Alexander Chee, to Yiyun Li, to Jason Reynolds, the brilliant anthology Everyday People fills a need for diversity while also raising haunting questions. How different would mainstream anthologies, like Best American Short Stories, O’Henry Stories, and others look, if the gatekeepers were consistently people of color, trans, non-binary and other editors from the margins? How different would MFA programs, and in turn, publishing, look? What will the world be like, when all the homogeneity leaves us? In her eloquent and thoughtful discussions about how the stories were selected and what they mean, Jennifer Baker points the way forward for #WeNeedDiverseBooks, in the form of a rigorous intellectual and critical engagement of what makes for a masterfully-told story.

Continue Reading