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Blog posts of '2017' 'March'

An Interview with Doug Mack
DougIn his informative travelogue, The Not-Quite States of America, Doug Mack puts a magnifying glass over the United States' overseas territories and commonwealths: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. With this interview, he continues the conversation about these corners of America, asking important questions about independence, statehood and why Americans should care—and probably visit—these often overlooked destinations.
The Not-Quite States of America
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The journey begins with Mack in his gym shorts. It’s laundry day in his apartment in Minneapolis, and he’s sorting through some quarters, setting a few aside to add to his wife’s state quarter collection, which includes coins from the first incorporated state, Delaware (1787) to the last, Hawaii (1959). But there are a few empty slots in her cardboard portfolio, beyond Hawaii. “Oh, right,” Mack remembers, “We have territories.”

Behold the Dreamers
behold dreamers coverCameroonian writer Imbolo Mbue has lived in New York City for more than a decade. Her experiences in the city and the stories she’s gathered from other immigrants have given her plenty of material for her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers. An ambitious effort, the novel tells the tale of two Cameroonians living in New York City while taking baby steps to achieve the holy grail--American citizenship--on their way towards the American Dream. The novel starts in 2007, as the economy is gearing up to collapse, and follows Jende Jonga, a cab driver working illegally, and his wife Neni, a community college student who dreams of a future as a pharmacist.