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Add Your "American Ending"

In the opening pages of American Ending, Ma asks Yelena and her soft, American-born siblings, "Russian ending or American ending?" before their bedtime story. Yelena returns to that question again and again. Pa left Russia to work in an American coal mine, where men who aren't crushed or gassed often drink themselves to death, while Ma has more babies than the family can feed. They finally send for the Russian-born daughters they left behind, only to marry the teenagers off to coal miners.


Whenever I gave readings from early chapters of this book, people rushed the podium to sympathize or share their own family's struggles in America. I finished the novel in COVID times and offered the book in serial form to lifelong friends, prompting tales of secrets and wounds their people had endured. Turns out, most families have an "American ending" to tell.


I invite you to tell your "American ending" on YouTube, Instagram, or Tiktok in 3 minutes or less, and send the link to MKZ here for possible posting on this site.


Here's the amazing Desiree Cooper, Pulitzer-Prize nominated author of Know the Mother and Nothing Special, talking about her "American ending" after reading the novel.