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The Best American Essays (Best American Essays)

The Best American Essays (Best American Essays) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This year's collection is edited by the critically acclaimed writer David Foster Wallace. Contributors include Jo Ann Beard, Mark Danner, Malcolm Gladwell, Louis Menand, Molly Peacock, and others.

Synopsis:

The twenty-two essays in this powerful collection — perhaps the most diverse in the entire series — come from a wide variety of periodicals, ranging from n + 1 and PMS to the New Republic and The New Yorker, and showcase a remarkable range of forms. Read on for narrative — in first and third person — opinion, memoir, argument, the essay-review, confession, reportage, even a dispatch from Iraq. The philosopher Peter Singer makes a case for philanthropy; the poet Molly Peacock constructs a mosaic tribute to a little-known but remarkable eighteenth-century woman artist; the novelist Marilynne Robinson explores what has happened to holiness in contemporary Christianity; the essayist Richard Rodriguez wonders if California has anything left to say to America; and the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson attempts to find common ground with the evangelical community.

In his introduction, David Foster Wallace makes the spirited case that “many of these essays are valuable simply as exhibits of what a first-rate artistic mind can make of particular fact-sets — whether these involve the 17-kHz ring tones of some kids cell phones, the language of movement as parsed by dogs, the near-infinity of ways to experience and describe an earthquake, the existential synecdoche of stagefright, or the revelation that most of what youve believed and revered turns out to be self-indulgent crap.”

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.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert Atwan viii Introduction: Deciderization 2007 — a Special Report, by David Foster Wallace xii

Jo Ann Beard. Werner 1 from Tin House

Ian Buruma. The Freedom to Offend 22 from The New Republic

Mark Danner. Iraq: The War of the Imagination 28 from The New York Review of Books

W. S. di Piero. Fatheads Hard Times 62 from The Threepenny Review

George Gessert. An Orgy of Power 72 from Northwest Review

Malcolm Gladwell. What the Dog Saw 86 from The New Yorker

Mark Greif. Afternoon of the Sex Children 103 from n + 1

Marione Ingram. Operation Gomorrah 123 from Granta

Garret Keizer. Loaded 137 from Harpers Magazine

John Lahr. Petrified 144 from The New Yorker

Louis Menand. Name That Tone 155 from The New Yorker

Daniel Orozco. Shakers 158 from StoryQuarterly

Cynthia Ozick. Out from Xanadu 170 from The New York Times Book Review

Molly Peacock. Passion Flowers in Winter 174 from PMS Phillip Robertson. In the Mosque of Imam Ali 190 from TriQuarterly

Marilynne Robinson. Onward, Christian Liberals 210 from The American Scholar

Richard Rodriguez. Disappointment 221 from California

Elaine Scarry. Rules of Engagement 234 from Boston Review

Roger Scruton. A Carnivores Credo 259 from Harpers Magazine

Peter Singer. What Should a Billionaire Give — and What Should You? 266 from The New York Times Magazine

Jerald Walker. Dragon Slayers 281 from The Iowa Review

Edward O. Wilson. Apocalypse Now 288 from The New Republic

Contributors Notes 295 Notable Essays of 2006 300

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618709267
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Location:
Boston
Editor:
Atwan, Robert
Editor:
Atwan, Robert; Wallace, David Foster
Editor:
Wallace, David Foster
Author:
Wallace, David Foster
Author:
Atwan, Robert
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
American essays
Subject:
20th century
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Best American Essays
Publication Date:
20071010
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 0.88 in 1 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Annuals
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays

The Best American Essays (Best American Essays)
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618709267 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The twenty-two essays in this powerful collection — perhaps the most diverse in the entire series — come from a wide variety of periodicals, ranging from n + 1 and PMS to the New Republic and The New Yorker, and showcase a remarkable range of forms. Read on for narrative — in first and third person — opinion, memoir, argument, the essay-review, confession, reportage, even a dispatch from Iraq. The philosopher Peter Singer makes a case for philanthropy; the poet Molly Peacock constructs a mosaic tribute to a little-known but remarkable eighteenth-century woman artist; the novelist Marilynne Robinson explores what has happened to holiness in contemporary Christianity; the essayist Richard Rodriguez wonders if California has anything left to say to America; and the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson attempts to find common ground with the evangelical community.

In his introduction, David Foster Wallace makes the spirited case that “many of these essays are valuable simply as exhibits of what a first-rate artistic mind can make of particular fact-sets — whether these involve the 17-kHz ring tones of some kids cell phones, the language of movement as parsed by dogs, the near-infinity of ways to experience and describe an earthquake, the existential synecdoche of stagefright, or the revelation that most of what youve believed and revered turns out to be self-indulgent crap.”

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