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The Best American Essays 2000 (Best American Essays)
Synopses & Reviews
As this acclaimed series celebrates its fifteenth year, Alan Lightman, the best-selling author of Einstein's Dreams, has assembled a diverse, very personal collection of the year's best short nonfiction, writings that celebrate the essay as an independent genre unlike any other. In his introduction, he declares that the ideal essay is "not an assignment, to be dispatched efficiently and intelligently, but an exploration, a questioning, an introspection . . . It thrashes and moves, like all living things." These pieces embrace stylistic freedom and strong opinions while affording the reader a fascinating view of work in progress, offering a front-row seat as the writer's mind struggles with truth, memory, and experience.
This year's selection features extraordinary essays by such renowned writers as Mary Gordon, Edward Hoagland, Jamaica Kincaid, and Wendell Berry as well by some talented new voices, on a delightfully dizzying variety of subjects. Andre Aciman wrestles with memories of remembering Paris, and William H. Gass delivers an exuberant defense of the printed book as a safe port in the data storms of the information age. Peter Singer views world poverty with an ethicist's eye, and Andrew Sullivan maps the spread of hate crimes in America.
"The qualities I treasure most about these essays are their authenticity and life," Lightman writes. As this volume of THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS demonstrates, this unique literary form continues to thrive as a creative outlet for some of America's finest writers.
Best-selling author Alan Lightman selects the years finest nonfiction as this acclaimed series celebrates its fifteenth year. He has chosen a diverse, very personal collection that celebrates the essay as an independent genre unlike any other. This years pieces embrace stylistic freedom and strong opinions and afford the reader a fascinating view of the writers mind as it struggles with truth, memory, and experience. Featured writers include Jamaica Kincaid, Edward Hoagland, Cynthia Ozick, Mary Gordon, Edwidge Danticat, and others.
Published: Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., -
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
Contents Foreword by Robert Atwan ix Introduction by Alan Lightman xiii andré aciman. The Last Time I Saw Paris 1 from Commentary wendell berry. In Distrust of Movements 13 from Orion ian buruma. The Joys and Perils of Victimhood 20 from The New York Review of Books fred daguiar. A Son in Shadow 32 from Harpers Magazine edwidge danticat. Westbury Court 47 from New Letters william h. gass. In Defense of the Book 52 from Harpers Magazine mary gordon. Rome: The Visible City 64 from Salmagundi edward hoagland. Earths Eye 80 from Sierra jamaica kincaid. Those Words That Echo . . . Echo . . . Echo Through Life 86 from The New York Times geeta kothari. If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I? 91 from The Kenyon Review richard mccann. The Resurrectionist 101 from Tin House cynthia ozick. The Synthetic Sublime 110 from The New Yorker scott russell sanders. The Force of Spirit 122 from Orion lynne sharon schwartz. At a Certain Age 134 from The Threepenny Review peter singer. The Singer Solution to World Poverty 140 from The New York Times Magazine floyd skloot. Gray Area: Thinking with a Damaged Brain 147 from Creative Nonfiction mark slouka. Listening for Silence 160 from Harpers Magazine cheryl strayed. Heroin/e 169 from DoubleTake andrew sullivan. Whats So Bad About Hate? 182 from The New York Times Magazine steven weinberg. A Designer Universe? 201 from The New York Review of Books terry tempest williams. A Shark in the Mind of One Contemplating Wilderness 211 from The Nation Biographical Notes 221 Notable Essays of 1999 226
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