Synopses & Reviews
No collection of essays can match the Best American series for the variety of subjects explored, the first-rate quality of pieces, and the eclectic approaches to the genre gathered in its pages each year. With characteristic flair, it provides that rare and refreshing opportunity for readers to take stock of the year's most distinguished and provocative nonfiction. Continuing the celebrated tradition, the 1995 edition dazzles and surprises with its inventive, colorful cornucopia of essays drawn from periodicals across the country. Showcased here are the preeminent pieces from the Los Angeles Times and The New Yorker, from Harper's Magazine and The Alaska Quarterly Review, written by some of today's finest prose stylists, including Edward Hoagland, Grace Paley, Cynthia Ozick, William Gass, John Edgar Wideman, and Joseph Brodsky. Guest editor Jamaica Kincaid, one of America's most illustrious storytellers and essayists, has culled her top twenty choices, assembling works of remarkable su
Table of Contents
Homage to Marcus Aurelius / Joseph Brodsky -- Eros at sea / Joel Agee -- Dying : an update / Harold Brodkey -- When negative meets positive / Dudley Clendinen -- Burl's / Bernard Cooper -- Gots is what you got / W.S. Di Piero -- Endou / Josephine Foo -- The art of self / William H. Gass -- In the kitchen / Henry Louis Gates, Jr. -- Strange perfume / Edward Hoagland -- Salt / Diana Kappel-Smith -- Jicama, without expectation / Maxine Kumin -- Saturday night, and sunday morning / James A. Mcpherson -- Waiting / Edna O'brien -- The break / Cynthia Ozick -- Six days : some rememberings / Grace Paley -- The necessity of poetry / Charles Simic -- Father stories / John Edgar Wideman -- Civilian / Tobias Wolff -- Counting at dusk (why poetry matters when the century ends) / Elaine Scarry.