Synopses & Reviews
Edited by the critically acclaimed writer David Foster Wallace, this years collection includes such contributors as Jo Ann Beard, Mark Danner, Malcolm Gladwell, Louis Menand, Molly Peacock, and others.
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.
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.”
Edited by the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Edwidge Danticat, author ofBrother, I Am Dying,this classic collection of essays showcases the year's best.
About the Author
Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous critically accalimed books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist, The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, and Brother, I'm Dying,winner of an NBCC award in Autobiography. ROBERT ATWAN has been the series editor ofThe Best American Essayssince 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