Shaker Heights, Ohio, is an idealistic town, whose vision extends all the way down to garbage collection. To keep the streets from looking cluttered, trash and recycling bins in Shaker Heights are placed at the back of people’s homes. Celeste Ng's novel Little Fires Everywhere is set in Shaker Heights, her own hometown. The book delves into the powderkeg that is discussions of race and class in self congratulatory liberal American cities.
“Only white people get to not see race. If you talk to someone black, or Latino, or Asian, they probably see race. There’s no option for them not to," she said.
"To say to a person of color, or member of any marginalized group, ‘I don’t see the thing that makes you different,’ is to ignore something that has probably shaped their entire reality. And it’s going to be hard to reach a real understanding if you leave out that huge part of their lives.”