The author rewrites the official record by way of fiction. Evans is particularly gifted at depicting character, especially female protagonists ... Evans’s Black female characters often start out on the periphery: The worker at the Titanic hotel muses that 'she was backdrop.' Literature offers a kind of corrective to history by drawing these figures into the foreground ... Evans’s propulsive narratives read as though they’re getting away with something, building what feel like novelistic plots onto the short story’s modest real estate.
In her second collection of stories, Danielle Evans maintains the blend of levity and sorrow that marked her debut. Violence, abandonment and racism abound in The Office of Historical Corrections; the characters’ senses of humor surface as a kind of salve ... The prose is too strong for the occasional excess of plot, or flashes of cinematic dialogue, to detract from the work ... Evans pays close attention to the power of appearance—not only the visibility of race, but also glittery notions of femininity, the princess-themed birthdays and “hot-pink” bachelorette party games ... In Evans’ stories, the most intriguing moments are the fissures in these willfully built narratives.
... a magnificent, searing collection ... What struck me throughout the book was Evans’s courage in examining such fraught and inescapable points of intersection between Black and White lives ... stories also cover a full spectrum of parallel and overlapping White and Black lives, while looking unflinchingly at the impact of multiple forms of violence and constraint ... considerable range, particularly for original, affecting portrayals of grief and intimacy ... One of the many narrative pleasures of the...collection overall, is the true-to-life language of the characters; the quick, persuasive interplay of dialogue ... Another such pleasure, though, is the meticulously paced, suspenseful, page-turning aspect. Without spoiling the end, I can promise this book will make readers face the news with renewed emotion, emotion all the more potent for the devastation that history has wrought on Evans’s characters, and on all of us.