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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »
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Mr. Apology and Other Essays

Mr. Apology and Other Essays Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Mr. Apology and Other Essays is a miscellany of misfits, cranks, daredevils, nuts, eccentrics, and lone wolves. From a piece on a Romanian cab driver who intends to cross the Bering Strait in his taxi to a celebration of two renowned hockey fighters, from Ry Cooder's collaboration with Cuban musicians in 1996 (which resulted in the celebrated Buena Vista Social Club) to a behind-the-scenes look at a Rolling Stones dinner party in 1983, Wilkinson brings to these pieces an intelligence and compassion that taps our deepest sense of humanity. The breadth of these essays is rare; with the same sensitivity and insight, Wilkinson explores Paul Simon's writer's block as well as the puzzling epidemic of blindness that afflicted 150 Cambodian women, refugees from the Khmer Rouge. In the title piece, Wilkinson describes the experience of a New York City artist who invites people to call and leave an apology — any kind of apology, for anything — on his answering machine. When one caller seems to divulge a deadly secret, the line becomes a complicated vehicle for both confession and delusion.

Alec Wilkinson's place in American writing, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, is among "the first rank of literary journalists . . . One is reminded of Naipaul, Mailer, and Agee." Entertaining, revelatory, and exemplary in their craftsmanship, these are essays to ponder, to learn from, to be appalled and inspired by. Mr. Apology displays the art of the essay at its finest.

About the Author

Alec Wilkinson is the author of A Violent Act, Moonshine Midnights, and Big Sugar. A recipient of a Lyndhurst Prize, a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship, he is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Esquire, and other magazines. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents


Part One Cameos 3 Dependents 23 Elmores Legs 38 Perfect 48 Spy 66 One Green Dog 77 Bruisers 93 Another Green Dog 101 Ms. Ramos 114 Sophies Guernica 126 The Gift 137 Facing the Shooter 160

Part Two An American Original 181 Fatherhood 193 At Home Outside the World 206 My Mentor 216

Part Three Mr. Apology 225 Conversations with a Killer 245 The Archive of Stopped Time 280 A Changed Version of God 292 The Enormous Monitor 327

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Wilkinson, Alec
American - General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
October 2003
Grade Level:
9 x 6 x 0.5 in 1.31 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists

Mr. Apology and Other Essays
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Product details 336 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618123117 Reviews:
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