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The Best American Essays (Best American Essays)by David Brooks
Synopses & Reviews
Here you will find the finest essays judiciously selected from countless publications” (Chicago Tribune), ranging from The New Yorker and Harpers to Swink and Pinch. In his introduction to this years edition, Adam Gopnik finds that great essays have text and inner text, personal story and larger point, the thing youre supposed to be paying attention to and some other thing youre really interested in.” David Sedariss quirky, hilarious account of a childhood spent yearning for a home where history was properly respected is also a poignant rumination on surviving the passage of time. In The Ecstasy of Influence,” Jonathan Lethem ponders the intriguing phenomenon of cryptomnesia: a person believes herself to be creating something new but is really recalling similar, previously encountered work. Ariel Levy writes in The Lesbian Brides Handbook” of her efforts to plan a party that accurately reflects her lifestyle (which she notes is not black-tie!”) as she confronts head-on what it means to be married. And Lauren Slater is off to Tripp Lake,” recounting the one summer she spent at camp — a summer of color wars, horseback riding, and the wild sadness” that settled in her when she was away from home.
In the end, Gopnik believes that the only real ambition of an essayist is to be a master of our common life. This latest installment of The Best American Essays is full of writing that reveals, in Gopniks words, the breath of things as they are.”
"A creature from an alternative universe arriving in the United States in 2012 wanting to understand what is on the American mind should rush to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy of this distinguished anthology, now in its 27th year. The 24 selected by New York Times columnist Brooks arrive after publication in a wide range of journals and magazines. Highlights include Lauren Slater's 'Killing My Body to Save My Mind,' a brave and disquieting discussion about the extreme side-effects of various psychopharmaceuticals on her body. The volume's range of styles include the sharp and coolly intellectual (Alan Lightman's 'The Accidental Universe') and the acutely personal (David J. Lawless's 'My Father/My Husband.' From Wesley Yang's fascinating exploration of racial identity, 'Paper Tigers,' to Francine Prose's critical reminiscence of her experience during the emergence of second wave feminism in the 1970s, 'Other Women,' there is not a dud in the bunch. As Mark Edmunson writes in one of the two essays about the plight of education, 'Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here?': 'In reading, I continue to look for one thing — to be influenced, to learn something new, to be thrown off my course and onto another, better way.' This year's exhilarating collection is just that reading experience." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A collection of the year's best essays culled from periodicals.
The best essays of the year selected and introduced by Mary Oliver.
Edited by award-winning poet and essayist Mary Oliver, the latest edition of this "rich and thoughtful collection" (Publishers Weekly) offers the finest essays "judiciously selected from countless publications" (Chicago Tribune).
The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the countrys finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volumes series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites . A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected—and most popular—of its kind.
The Best American Essays 2011 includes
Hilton Als, Katy Butler, Toi Derricotte, Christopher Hitchens,
Pico Iyer, Charlie LeDuff, Chang-Rae Lee, Lia Purpura, Zadie Smith,
Reshma Memon Yaqub, and others
About the Author
ROBERT ATWAN has been the series editor of The Best American Essays since its inception in 1986. He has edited numerous literary anthologies and written essays and reviews for periodicals nationwide.
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