Take Us To A Better Place: Stories New Free E-Book Uses Fiction to Explore Wide Range of Environmental & Health Issues

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

TAKE US TO A BETTER PLACE: Stories is a collection of powerful, perceptive, and seamlessly crafted fiction from a diverse group of authors that tell multiple truths about our health and the world in which we live.  Conjuring worlds that are at once vivid and hopeful, as well as heartbreaking and perilous, these deeply human tales embody why fiction moves us.  Inspired by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and its “Culture of Health” vision, and produced by Melcher Media, the ebook is available free to all readers via www.rwjf.org/fiction and ebook retailers.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. It has a vision of a “Culture of Health” that provides everyone living in the United States a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. It believes that by placing well-being at the center of every aspect of life, we can build a healthy future that helps us all live the healthiest life possible–no matter who we are, where we live, or how much money we make.  It is in this spirit that the Foundation invited ten authors to write a story about what a “Culture of Health” means to them.  By making this collection available free from the Foundation to all readers, the stories are intended to spark new ideas and encourage discussion.

The book features the literary talents of Hannah Lillith Assadi (finalist, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize), Calvin Baker, Frank Bill, Mike McClelland, and Achy Obejas (finalist, PEN/Faulkner); the bold visual storytelling of David Robertson and Selena Goulding; the searing science fiction writing of New York Times best-selling authors Martha Wells (winner of the Nebula, Hugo and Locus Awards) and Yoon Ha Lee (winner, Locus Award), and speculative fiction writers Karen Lord and Madeline Ashby.

With keen observations, fully-drawn characters, and haunting narratives, the stories explore a wide range of issues that impact our personal and environmental well-being such as access to health care, climate change, immigration, gentrification, mental health, inequity, Big Data, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Like these complicated issues, the stories in TAKE US TO A BETTER PLACE are rich and complex, written for many different kinds for readers who will likely find themselves or someone they know on these pages.  Please see attached “more about stories and contributors” for further information.

On contributing to this collection, Hannah Lillith Assadi, author of “Paradise,” said: “I wanted to explore how, as Americans, we can and should be more healthy toward our growing diversity, a diversity that has always defined us, and has always made America great.” And on how he hopes readers receive TAKE US TO A BETTER PLACE, Mike McClellan, author of “The Flotilla at Bird Island,” stated: “I want readers to think about what it would take for them to be persuaded to do something that may sound crazy, but may actually save the world.”

To learn more about this collection, visit: www.rwjf.org/fiction