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Nobody Knows How It Got This Good by Amos Jasper Wright IV

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Amos Jasper Wright IV is a young white guy who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and received a Masters in English and creative writing from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, as well as a Masters in urban planning from Tufts. He now lives in New Orleans. This is his first book, a collection of sixteen stories, most set in Birmingham.  The title comes from a comment made by one of his characters on the occasion of the opening of a new big box store near his home. Kirkus Reviews exclaimed, “the thematic consistency is so strong that the reader leaves the book with the wondrous sense of having spent a lifetime among the crooks and malcontents of central Alabama and having come away much wiser for the experience. A finely crafted collection that perfectly evokes a place and culture." James Braziel notes, “If you want to know what the American South has become today and how much the people who live here have given up of their souls and money to fix a past that can’t be fixed, then read Amos Jasper Wright’s debut book, Nobody Knows How It Got This Good. Wright’s characters are truth tellers, and every day they create maps to get them through the city of Birmingham, Alabama, with its dangerous steam plant and high rise banks, luxury car dealerships and dilapidated buildings.”

Livingston, Alabama: Livingston Press of the University of West Alabama, 2018. 302 pages. Trade paperback