Before John Sayles was an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, he was a National Book Award-nominated writer of fiction. The Anarchists’ Convention is his first short story collection, providing a prism of America through fifteen stories. These everyday people — a kid on the road heading west, aging political activists, a lonely woman in Boston — go about their business with humor and resilience, dealing more in possibility than fact. In the widely anthologized and O. Henry Award-winning “I-80 Nebraska,” Sayles perfectly renders the image of a pill-popping trucker who has become a legend of the road.

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