The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans

Danielle Evans' brilliant new short story collection explores issues of race, culture, identity and American history

Book Review by Kerri Logan | 04 Mar 2021
  • The Office of Historical Corrections
Book title: The Office of Historical Corrections
Author: Danielle Evans

The Office of Historical Corrections is a brilliant, witty collection of six short stories and novella in which Danielle Evans provides insights into human relationships through an exploration of issues of race, culture, identity and American history.

Offering a blisteringly honest perspective on the human condition, her prose is complex and accomplished – each story, no matter how short, overflows with a rich plot, well-developed characters and at least one gut-punching moment that catches the reader off-guard. Honing in on particular moments in her characters' lives, she asks her readers to reflect upon larger issues that affect Black and multiracial people, and asks her readers to consider how history influences us both personally and collectively.

With each new narrator comes a distinctly unique voice, each story working together to explore themes of love, friendship, romance and grief in a way that is both haunting and, at times, hilariously relatable. From the eye-opening title novella, exploring the cost of setting the record straight, to the incredibly timely Boys Go to Jupiter in which a white college student is embroiled in scandal after a photo of her posing in a Confederate flag bikini appears online, each story is as autonomous as it is an integral cog in Evans’ colourful narrative machine. If you are not already a lover of short stories, this could very well be the book to change your mind.

Picador, 4 Mar, £14.99