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The Office of Historical Corrections

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  27,686 ratings  ·  3,811 reviews
The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history.

Danielle Evans is widely acclaimed for her blisteringly smart voice and x-ray insights into complex human relationships. With The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans zooms in on particular moments and r
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Hardcover, 269 pages
Published November 10th 2020 by Riverhead Books
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B I just finished this book. I wouldn't call it graphic violence but the inference is there in the last story. Nevertheless I would recommend you read t…moreI just finished this book. I wouldn't call it graphic violence but the inference is there in the last story. Nevertheless I would recommend you read this book..for its insights, for its clever use of language but also for its humor. Why Won't Women Just Say What They Want is the funniest story I have ever read..(less)
Mekiva Perhaps certain stories could work for that age group depending on what you plan to do with it (assuming you are asking for classroom use). I think it…morePerhaps certain stories could work for that age group depending on what you plan to do with it (assuming you are asking for classroom use). I think it's better suited for college age crowd. Not because of explicit content, but more so that the high school reader might require too much explanation/analysis on your part. These stories really make the reader think, and if your students will be lead the discussion in depth than have at it. However, if you are doing more talking (anything beyond posing the question), than I'd recommend you select stories from this collection and other works by Evans. Would love to hear what you decide!(less)

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Roxane
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WIth the seven brilliant stories in The Office of Historical Corrections, Danielle Evans demonstrates, once again, that she is the finest short story writer working today. These stories are sly and prescient, a nuanced reflection of the world we are living in, one where the rules are changing, and truth is mutable and resentments about nearly everything have breached the surface of what is socially acceptable. These stories are wickedly smart and haunting in what they say about the human conditi ...more
Cindy
Feb 05, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really unique premises and great lines across all the short stories. My favorite stories, in no particular order, were 1) "Boys Go To Jupiter" - for the decision to focus on a 'racist' protagonist and dive into her background story while simultaneously watch her be ignorant, 2)"Why Won't Women Just Say What They Want?" - which was veeeeery accurate to shitty boyfriends and their language/approaches to apologies, and 3) the titular novella - which was a really interesting concept with an impactfu ...more
s.penkevich
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-story
I’ve really started this year on the right foot with Danielle Evan’s The Office of Historical Corrections. This brilliant collection of six short stories and a novella is a jaw-dropping, emotional ride through the racial discourse of modern society that will certainly make its residence in your heart and mind. While one might argue that this collection is fairly on-the-nose, and they wouldn’t be wrong though I don’t think in this case would be a negative. It isn't so much timely as it is a culmi ...more
emma
2020 was, in many (read: basically all) ways, the worst year of all time forever, but there was one good thing:

i have never read so many books in one year where i had nothing to say other than "read this."

so, uh.

read this.

and that's all.

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pre-review

oh, man.

review to come / 4.5 stars might raise to 5

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tbr review

too many books are sounding too good lately. it's a problem.
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Lauren
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
READ THESE!! topical, thought-provoking, lean, powerful prose. loved "boys go to jupiter," "richard of york gave battle in vain," and "the office of historical corrections" the most, but there truly wasn't a bad one. ...more
Paromjit
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding multilayered short story collection from the award winning Danielle Evans, consisting of 6 short stories and one novella, beautifully written, often revisiting common themes and issues, but approached through a different lens. The fine tuned, astute, and diverse storytelling are reflective of contemporary American realities and national challenges, providing insights on issues such as race, injustice, violence, culture, history and who gets to tell it, grief, loss, identit ...more
Barbara
Jun 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
First I’d like to thank GR friend BookClubbed for your excellent review of the audio version of “The Office of Historical Corrections” by Danielle Evans. I would not have chosen this because I don’t follow short story novels, preferring fiction novels. This collection of short stories and a novella are astounding. Each leaves the reader/listener in ponderance mode.

In an interview with the NYTimes, she stated “This book is substantially about grief. I was writing it when my mother was sick……I was
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luce (currently recovering from a hiatus)
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4 ½ stars

The Office of Historical Corrections is a striking collection of short stories, easily the best one to be published this year. Unlike many other collections—which tend to have a few forgettable or ‘weaker’ stories—The Office of Historical Corrections has only hits. There isn’t one story that bored me or wasn’t as good as the rest. This is truly a standout collection. If you happen to be a fan of authors such as Curtis Sittenfeld, Edwidge Danticat, and Br
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sarah
The Office of Historical Corrections is a collection of 6 short stories and one novella all written by Danielle Evans. They similar cover themes of race, prejudice, womanhood, home and truth but in differing ways from story to story. As is always the case with short story collections, I found some to be stronger than others and just naturally connected with a few more than the rest. When a story was good- it was really good, but I also found a few to be lacking.

Happily Ever After
This was the
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Elyse Walters
These stunning short stories explores unwavering strength, and power.
Themes include relationship issues, identity, girlhood, sex, jealousy, grief, violence, and love...
while exploring racial, cultural, political and personal complexities.

...Haunting, humorous dialogue...
...elegiac storytelling.... reflecting often on our unfulfilling lives...
the unconscious things we do each day...
To me these stories reveal how often it’s feelings that make our lives, rather than intent.
The art of feeling goo
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Thomas
I wanted to enjoy this one so much more especially because I liked Danielle Evans’ first short story collection so much! The Office of Historical Corrections contains so many stories with intriguing premises: a famous male artist who makes a performance out of apologizing to all the women he’s harmed, a white woman who wears a Confederate bikini and receives backlash once photos of her get posted online, and a Black scholar who uncovers complicated truths about an old friend while working at a f ...more
Brittany
Aug 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
These were novellas that truly did so much in such little time. I feel like most of the time novellas end up being too short for the amount of story they’re trying to tell, but I truly feel like each novella left me pondering the story as it finished- not in the way that I felt confused or unsatisfied, but in a shocked & rethinking so much kind of way. The only thing that knocked a star off is that there were a 2 or 3 stories where I felt like I wanted just a few more answers than the open ended ...more
Emily B
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
These are my kind of short stories. Honestly, I cant say why specifically but if you're thinking of reading them then I suggest you do it :)

Also I felt like the novella The Office of Historical Corrections had a Temporary vibe about it at times, but with a more serious message.
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Book Clubbed
May 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Evans is a master of her craft. The voices she inhabits in each story are so good, so natural, that they are both conversational and insightful. She almost makes you forget how hard writing short stories are. In this collection, the stories tend to be long-form, and Evans lets them breathe, often exploring flashbacks or backstories in conjunction with the present, although she never lets the pace flag.

Her details never error and her intuitive understanding of each emotional maneuvering are downr
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Traci Thomas
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A stellar collection. So much empathy. Some really unlikeable and yet deeply realistic and complex humans in these stories. Also, plot. Thank goodness.
Larry H
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Danielle Evans' The Office of Historical Corrections includes six beautifully written, powerful stories and a novella which move you and leave you thinking.

These are stories about race, racism, family, love, relationships, identity, history, and how we are perceived. In many cases they touch on complex, thorny subjects but they are never heavy-handed.

While not all of the six stories worked equally for me, my favorites included “Anything Could Disappear,” about a woman who finds her
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Maxwell
Sep 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[4.5 stars]

What a strong collection of stories! Most of them, as the author notes in her acknowledgements, center on Black women who refuse to diminish themselves in order to live an ‘acceptable’ life. She’s an astute writer with accessible prose and often witty observations that catch you off guard.

I really liked all of the stories except for “Why Won’t Women Just Say What They Want” which wasn’t bad but just felt a bit out of place in this collection.

Definitely eager to go back and read Evan
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Paris (parisperusing)
“If everything could be erased, anything could disappear. If you could erase everything, you could start again.”

Since I know I don’t have all the words to describe how outstanding this book is, let me put it like this, every time I finished a story, I was certain it would be my favorite. And then the next story was my favorite story and then, before I knew it, I’d finished the book. I’d run out of pages to love. There’s so much to admire about the way Danielle Evans’ brain works, the way her
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Brandice
Jun 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Office of Historical Corrections is a collection of short stories with one novella. I’ve said it before and will say it again, I have definitely struggled with short stories. It’s not my favorite genre, however, this collection was great! Danielle Evans is a skilled writer and I stayed interested in each narrative.

The stories here are not connected to one another but all explore important subjects like race, identity, love, friendships, and history. They are relevant, thought-provoking, and
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chantel nouseforaname
Fantastic.

Honestly, the first two of the seven stories in The Office of Historical Corrections were good but not anything that got me hype. However, each of the following five stories continued to increase in dopeness. The book eventually culminated with the best of the best, saved for last, and fittingly called the title of the book: The Office of Historical Corrections. That last story, the longest of the bunch, was a masterpiece.

I have to say, Black women! BLACK WOMEN. Listen, as I’m readin
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Michael Finocchiaro
I truly loved the short stories in this collection. Evans does an incredible job in creating believable, compelling situations out just a few pages. The last eponymous story is about wokism and does a great job of avoiding polemic while describing the outlines of the issue. I felt that this was perhaps the second strongest book I read that was published in 2020 and highly recommend it. I think the most haunting story is the next to last about the missing child. It has a similar theme to some of ...more
Monica
I thought the book got stronger with each story. Danielle Evans is an amazing writer. This collection theme seemed to be about women and the baggage we carry that permeates everything about our lives. Also that our lives are so full of loss and we are all dealing with the trauma of living in so many different ways. She is easily one of the most immersive writers I have read in a very long time. I was deep into just about every story. I'm in awe of her ability to draw readers in. (view spoiler) ...more
Mari

4.5 stars

A couple of stories in, I was questioning my feelings on this collection so I had to take a break and reflect. In sitting with my uncertainty, I realized that in fact, these short stories were doing such an excellent job of capturing these very real and complex characters, of dropping us off in the middle of their stories and then pulling us out at the edge of something, that they are almost haunting.

The writing is excellent, sharp and smart. There were single lines of descriptions or
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Katharine
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was my first book of 2021 as part of my goal to read more short story and essay collections. And wow, what a perfect one to start off with. On January 6 the Capitol was stormed by a group of white supremacists, incited and encouraged by President Trump. It was just another reminder of how entrenched our country is in racism and how white supremacy always has and continues to run rampant. This collection tells the story of multiple Black women and reconsiders history and the intricacies of o ...more
Ken
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
As the old (and mysteriously perverse) saying goes, "There's more than one way to skin a cat" (which begs the question, "Who in hell skins cats?").

Anyway, the same goes for writing. Two time-honored literary chestnuts are "write what you know" and "show, don't tell." Danielle Evans clearly invests in Chestnut #1, as all of these stories offer life through the angle of Black females, who see and say things I certainly never have, which makes for good reading (much as I like Nick Adams and Nick C
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Lisa
Jan 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing
[4.5] I've been meaning to read this collection for a year now and I've so glad I finally did. These are sharp-edged, wise and very readable stories - each one brilliantly examining an aspect of racism and alienation. All leading up to the stunning novella. I need to read more of Evans, I can't get enough of her voice. ...more
Raymond
Apr 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
Don't be like me and judge this collection by the first short story, especially if you don't like it. I read the first story and almost DNFed the book until some friends told me that the collection as a whole gets better. Each story is different and they cover themes from our current moment: systemic racism, race relations, sexual assault/Me Too, hard history, monuments, and which history is factual. My favorite stories were: "Boys Go to Jupiter", "Alcatraz", "Why Won't Women Just Say What They ...more
BookOfCinz
Jan 01, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
Some enjoyable stories, overall was ok.
Julia Phillips
Apr 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Capital-G Great Writing
Jerrie
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable collection of short stories and a novella centered around the experiences of Black women in the current cultural and political climate in the US. Great characters and good variety of situations and themes.
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Danielle Evans is the author of the short-story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, winner of the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Hurston-Wright Award, and the Paterson prize and a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 selection. Her work has appeared in magazines including The Paris Review, A Public Space, American Short Fiction, Callaloo, The Sewanee Review, and Phoebe, a ...more

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