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The Best American Essays 2014 (Best American)by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Synopses & Reviews
The University of Iowa is a leading light in the writing world. In addition to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for poets and fiction writers, it houses the prestigious Nonfiction Writing Program (NWP), which was the first full-time masters-granting program in this genre in the United States. Over the past three decades the NWP has produced some of the most influential nonfiction writers in the country.
I’ll Tell You Mine is an extraordinary anthology, a book rooted in Iowa’s successful program that goes beyond mere celebration to present some of the best nonfiction writing of the past thirty years. Eighteen pieces produced by Iowa graduates exemplify the development of both the program and the field of nonfiction writing. Each is accompanied by commentary from the author on a challenging issue presented by the story and the writing process, including drafting, workshopping, revising, and listening to (or sometimes ignoring) advice. The essays are put into broader context by a prologue from Robert Atwan, founding editor of the Best American Essays series, who details the rise of nonfiction as a literary genre since the New Journalism of the 1960s.
Creative nonfiction is the fastest-growing writing concentration in the country, with more than one hundred and fifty programs in the United States. I’ll Tell You Mine shows why Iowa’s leads the way. Its insider’s view of the Iowa program experience and its wealth of groundbreaking nonfiction writing will entertain readers and inspire writers of all kinds.
"This illustrious annual anthology returns for its 29th year with a vengeance, featuring 21 of the year's most urgent and at times painfully truthful pieces of nonfiction published in U.S. periodicals. The introduction from editor Sullivan (Pulphead) traces the tangled etymological history of the term 'essay,' asking 'How could we honestly trust any creature that comes into the world wearing such a caul of ambiguity?' Series editor Atwan's preface also touches on this theme, referencing the recent spate of dishonest memoirs but deeming the offerings here 'simultaneously intense, intellectual and inventive.' This multifaceted approach to narrative can be seen in Wendy Brenner's 'Strange Beads,' wherein she takes on the unfathomable burden of mourning her ex-fiancÃ©'s recent death while also facing her own ongoing struggle with cancer. It also appears in Barry Lopez's 'Sliver of Sky,' in which Lopez bravely revisits his horrific experience of sexual abuse during his 1950s childhood. Other impactful selections include Wells Tower's 'The Old Man at Burning Man,' Jerald Walker's 'How to Make a Slave,' and James Wood's 'Becoming Them.' This eclectic, powerful array of thought-provoking essays is sure to appeal to a broad array of readers. Agent: Gerald McCauley, Gerard McCauley Agency, and Jin Auh, Wylie Agency. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Pulphead author John Jeremiah Sullivan, "among the best young non-fiction writers in English" (The New York Times), picks the year's best essays selected from hundereds of magazines, journals, and websites.
The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the esssay collection that consistently offers the "best of the best" (Kirkus).
A collection of the years's best essays, as published in periodicals.
Over the past three decades, nonfiction writing in its many forms—memoir, travel writing, essays, narrative nonfiction—has attained increasing popularity among the reading public and growing recognition within the literary canon. In this genre as in fiction and poetry, the University of Iowa has led the way in offering developing writers a setting where they can immerse themselves in their craft for a couple of years with a community of likeminded peers. This collection of 18 pieces—all of them by graduates of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, and all begun (though often not finished) while their authors were in the program—illustrates the range and evolution of nonfiction forms during this period. Each piece is accompanied by commentary from the author on an issue of writing process or craft that proved to be a challenge in drafting or revising the piece. Their work is put into broader context by a prologue from Robert Atwan, editor of the Best American Essays series, who details the rise of nonfiction as a literary genre since the New Journalism of the 1960s.
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
The provocative and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens takes the helm of the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this perennial favorite that is reliable and yet still surprising—the best of the best” (Kirkus Reviews).
About the Author
John Jeremiah Sullivan is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the southern editor of the Paris Review. He writes for GQ, Harpers Magazine, and Oxford American and is the author of Blood Horses and Pulphead, a 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.
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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