Everyday across the United States, millions of people face a wide range of injustices, from sexual harassment on the job, to unfairly low pay, to unrelenting authoritarian bosses. For some people, retaliation against such conditions is nothing but a fleeting daydream, but for a growing number of working people, standing up and fighting for their rights has become a reality. Their heroic boldness inspired the 23 short stories featured in Gregory Alan Norton's rousing new book, "An Infinity of Days in the Psychotic Atomik Empire" (ISBN 1891386581, Plain View Press, 2007).
"An Infinity of Days in the Psychotic Atomik Empire" delves into the tough realities of modern day Chicago and brings to life a diverse cast of characters, including college students, union organizers and telemarketers, who use any means they can to maintain their dignity and civil rights. Many of the short stories were originally published in prominent literary publications, such as "The Princeton Arts Review" and "Tarpaulin Sky." While the subject matter of his book may be heavy, Norton skillfully uses tongue-in-cheek humor and irony to lighten the mood and reveal the spontaneous resistance that arises to challenge life's daily indignities.
Humor and activism blend together seamlessly in each story within "An Infinity of Days in the Psychotic Atomik Empire." The "hands on" methods of confrontation illustrated throughout Norton's book are exemplified in one particularly memorable account, where a young woman learns karate and flings her supervisor across the office in retaliation for sexual harassment.
"What I have tried to convey is the steady strength of the character many working class people show despite great adversity," Norton says. "Although they have to struggle to make ends meet, they often show great courage in standing up to a system that's stacked against them."
The "empire" in the title refers to the state of the current American government, armed with considerable nuclear power and engaged in a controversial war. With a family background in coal miner strikes and personal experiences within the Civil Rights Movement and Peace Movement of the Vietnam War Era, Norton passionately believes that changing such an "empire" for the better will only result from unified collective action.
About the Author:
Gregory Alan Norton resides in Chicago, Illinois. He has been an activist in the civil rights, peace and labor movements. He served as an organizer and newspaper editor for the United Steelworkers and has participated in other unions as well. Norton is currently working on a new novel, "The Psychology of Starlight," that deals with immigration issues. For more information, visit www.gregoryalannorton.com.
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