Short-story writer and essayist Steve Almond has made a career out of examining the manic state of modern American life, and his new book, God Bless America, pulls no punches. He has filled his third short-story collection with empathetic glimpses into the lives of everyday Americans by crafting narratives both tragic and hilarious (often both at the same time). And to the relief of hipsters everywhere, his stories are steeped in ample irony. In one yarn, a gambling-addicted psychoanalyst battles an ex-patient at a poker table. Another centers on an airport security guard baby-sitting a minor who has the heart of a con artist. Then there’s a teenager’s encounter with a drunken female customer. The stories are ambitious and anything but ordinary. Almond, a former Miami New Times staff writer, will discuss God Bless America at Books & Books Monday at 8 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 7, 8 p.m., 2011
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