Out of Mesopotamia

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A Year in Reading: 2020

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We were worried that no one would want or be able to participate in this, the 16th annual Year in Reading at The Millions. What is there to say about this pandemic year, a year so strange and horrible that its very appellation has become a bitter joke? People are mourning their dead, homeschooling their children, juggling responsibilities, worrying about money, worrying about politics, worrying about people, stultifying with loneliness or despair. And yet this Year in Reading is one of the best we've had. Entries poured forth from readers--readers who are mourning, homeschooling, juggling, worrying, stultifying. This series becomes part of the historical record of an experience that is collective even though its effects are unevenly and unfairly felt. This is a record of how a few people managed and what they read and what moved them during difficult days. We are grateful to have it. And we are grateful for you, and we are hoping for better things for all of us in the months to come. The names of our 2020 contributors will be unveiled throughout the month as entries are published--starting with our traditional opener from Languagehat’s Stephen Dodson later this morning, and ending on December 24. Bookmark this post, load up the main pagesubscribe to our RSS feed, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to make sure you don’t miss an entry — we’ll run three or four every day. Stephen Dodson, proprietor of Languagehat.Maisy Card, author of These Ghosts Are Family.Elaine Castillo, author of America Is Not the Heart.Salar Abdoh, author of Out of MesopotamiaCarvell Wallace, co-author of The Sixth Man.Mira Assaf Kafantaris, Senior Lecturer in the English Department at the Ohio State University.Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want.Andrew Valencia, author of Lord of California.Paul Tremblay, author of Survivor Song.Katherine D. Morgan, assistant features editor for The Rumpus.Zak Salih, author of the forthcoming novel Get Back to the Party. Emily Adrian, author of Everything Here Is Under Control.Kathy Wang, author of the forthcoming novel Impostor Syndrome. Anneliese Mackintosh, author of Bright and Dangerous Objects.Greg Afinogenov, author of Spies and Scholars: Chinese Secrets and Imperial Russia's Quest for World Power.Jon Mooallem, author of This is Chance!.Edan Lepucki, staff writer and contributing editor for The Millions, author of Woman No. 17.Nick Ripatrazone, contributing editor for The Millions, author of Longing for an Absent God.Sonya Chung, staff writer for The Millions, author of The Loved Ones.Matt Seidel, staff writer for The Millions.Jianan Qian, staff writer for The Millions.Ed Simon, staff writer for The Millions, author of America and Other Fictions.Carolyn Quimby, associate editor for The Millions.K-Ming Chang, author of Bestiary.Brontez Purnell, author of Since I Laid My Burden Down.Diane Cook, author of The New Wilderness.Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, author of House of Stone.Natalie Bakopoulos, author of Scorpionfish.Lillian Li, author of Number One Chinese Restaurant.Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the FieldChristopher Gonzalez, author of the forthcoming collection I'm Not Hungry but I Could Eat. Kevin Young, editor of African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & SongDavid Heska Wanbli Weiden, author of Winter Counts.Mohamed Asem, author of Stranger in the Pen.Jesse Paddock, writer, filmmaker, and co-host of the Fans Notes podcast.Rachel Yoder, author of the forthcoming novel Nightbitch.Caroline Kim, author of The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories.Marie-Helene Bertino, author of Parakeet.Sunisa Manning, author of A Good True Thai.Destiny O. Birdsong, author of Negotiations.Jennifer Acker, author of The Limits of the World.J. Howard Rosier, National Book Critics Circle board member.Shruti Swamy, author of A House Is a Body: Stories.Claire Cameron, staff writer for The Millions, author of The Last Neanderthal.Zoë Ruiz, staff writer for The Millions.Hannah Gersen, author ofHome FieldKaulie Lewis, staff writer for The Millions.Nick Moran, special projects editor for The Millions.Anne K. Yoder, staff writer for The Millions.Lysley Tenorio, author of The Son of Good Fortune.Adam Dalva, author of Olivia Twist.Jenny Bhatt, author of Each of Us Killers, translator of Ratno Dholi: The Best Stories of Dhumketu.Aatif Rashid, author of Portrait of Sebastian Khan.Miranda Popkey, author of Topics of Conversation.Ruth Franklin, author of Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.Nadia Owusu, author of the forthcoming memoir Aftershocks.Sabrina Orah Mark, author of Wild Milk.Sara Fan, a writer in California.Lauren Oyler, author of the forthcoming novel Fake Accounts.Farooq Ahmed, author of Kansastan.Megan Giddings, author of Lakewood.Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies.Willa Paskin, TV critic at Slate and the host of the Decoder Ring podcast.Blair McClendon, writer, film editor and filmmaker.Jean Chen Ho, author of the forthcoming collection Fiona and Jane.Michael Zapata, author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau.Sarah Thankam Mathews, a writer featured in Best American Short Stories 2020.Angela Chen, author of Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of SexKevin Barry, author of That Old Country Music.     Kate Gavino, social media editor for The Millions and author of Sanpaku.Michael Bourne, staff writer for The Millions and contributing editor for Poets & Writers.Thomas Beckwith, staff writer for The Millions.Garth Risk Hallberg, contributing editor for The Millions, author of City on Fire.Bill Morris, staff writer for The Millions, author of Motor City Burning.Lydia Kiesling, contributing editor for The Millions, author of The Golden StateJacqueline Krass, staff writer for The Millions.Mahogany L. Browne, author of Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice.Adam Wilson, author of Sensation Machines.Chelsea Bieker, author of Godshot.Eloisa Amezcua, author of From the Inside Quietly.Katherine Hill, author of A Short Move.Joseph Lee, 2020 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers' Workshop. Silvia Killingsworth, series editor of Best American Food WritingSejal Shah, author of This is One Way to Dance.Vanessa Veselka, author of The Great Offshore Grounds.Iľja Rákoš, staff writer for The Millions.Davey Davis, author of the forthcoming novel X.Mamta Chaudhry, author of Haunting ParisMartha Anne Toll, author of the forthcoming Three Muses.Anthony Veasna So, author of Afterparties. Do you love Year in Reading and the amazing books and arts content that The Millions produces year round? We are asking readers for support to ensure that The Millions can stay vibrant for years to come. Please click here to learn about several simple ways you can support The Millions now. Don't miss: A Year in Reading 20192018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005[millions_ad]