Touchstone to Publish Original Story Collection About the American Experience From Some of Literature’s Most Celebrated Writers

NEW YORK, November 15 —On January 16, 2018, Touchstone will publish an extraordinary original short story collection titled It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art, featuring fiction from more than thirty-five of today’s most celebrated authors, writing about the American experience and the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy. With contributions from writers such as Michael Cunningham, Louise Erdrich, Alice Walker, Neil Gaiman, Ha Jin, Richard Russo, Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Julia Alvarez, Walter Mosley, Alice Hoffman, Paul Theroux, and Stephen L. Carter, an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winner, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and edited by bestselling author Jonathan Santlofer, It Occurs to Me That I Am America will also include original, striking art from fourteen of the country’s most acclaimed artists, cartoonists, and graphic novelists, including Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast, Marilyn Minter, and Eric Fischl. It Occurs to Me That I Am America will be published in celebration of the American Civil Liberties Union upon the one-year anniversary of the Inauguration of President Trump and the Women’s March on Washington.

“As I remembered this presidential election, what became clear to me was that the contest for our American identity wasn’t strictly a political affair,” writes Viet Thanh Nguyen in the book’s introduction. “It is also a matter of storytelling. The struggle over the direction of our country is also a fight over whose words will win and whose images will ignite the collective imagination.” It Occurs to Me That I Am America is an effort to take back the narrative of what it means to be an American in the 21st century.

“The genesis of this book came shortly after the 2016 presidential election,” said Jonathan Santlofer. “I presented the idea to Touchstone’s David Falk, who has championed it since the beginning. It Occurs to Me That I Am America aims to address the anxiety many Americans are feeling about losing the freedoms for which we’ve fought; to remind us of America as an international symbol of hope; and considers the most basic notion of all: what it means to be American.”

“I am grateful for the time and creative work Jonathan Santlofer and all the contributors have devoted to this project in support of the ACLU,” said David Falk, Vice President & Associate Publisher at Touchstone, who is editing the book for Touchstone. “During this period of political and cultural uncertainty, the goal was to provide a podium and canvas for the contributors to be heard and seen. The result is a one-of-a-kind collection that boldly declares who we are as Americans, representing the diverse voices that weave the rich fabric of our democracy. Our hope is to demonstrate how the power of fiction and art can open minds and create much-needed discourse.”

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU said, “We are both thrilled and humbled to see that so many great writers and artists have come together to support the ACLU with the publication of It Occurs to Me That I Am America—as we confront the greatest civil liberties crisis of our time. History has shown the crucial role artists play in challenging injustice during times of crisis. This anthology promises to be both a powerful tool in the fight to uphold our values and a tribute to the remarkable voices behind it.”

David Falk acquired world and audio rights from literary agent Todd Schuster of Aevitas Creative Management.

To Learn More, Visit:



Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages, and in all printed, digital and audio formats. Its distinguished roster of authors includes many of the world’s most popular and widely recognized writers, and winners of the most prestigious literary honors and awards. It is home to numerous well-known imprints and divisions such as Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Gallery Books, Pocket Books, Touchstone, Adams Media, Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, and proudly brings the works of its authors to readers in more than 200 countries and territories. For more information visit our website at



#          #          #


Contact: Shida Carr
Associate Director of Publicity / Touchstone
(212) 698-4384 or