Synopses & Reviews
The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 is an essential guide to the year's most entertaining, politically charged, and sophisticated essays and fiction, offering a rare opportunity to experience in a single volume the top work of veteran reporters, critically acclaimed writers, and up-and-coming journalists. Only in this annual anthology will you find the best of the finalists for the 2008 National Magazine Awards, which include a critique of the Bush administration, a takedown of snark culture, personal reflections on child abuse accompanied by a profile of Hollywood's biggest villain, and an exposA(c) of America's backbreaking coal mines, along with Alice Munro's and David Foster Wallace's most recent short stories.
Other 2008 award finalists are Peter Hessler's tour of China's instant cities; Jane Mayer's peek inside the CIA's secret interrogation program; William Langewiesche's account of gangland's hold on Sao Paolo; Paige Williams's story of one girl's escape from Burundi; Steve Oney's probing investigation into the unforeseen casualties of the Iraq War; Kurt Andersen's incisive commentary on American greed; Matt Taibbi's profile of Barack Obama; Caitlin Flannagan's feminist perspective on the abortion debate; and Tom Carson's nostalgic lament for the leading men of old Hollywood. Fiction finalists include Daniel Mason, Steven Millhauser, Antonya Nelson, Uzodinma Iweala; Alistair Morgan; Andrew Malan Millward, and Fiona McFarlane.
The magazines that published these pieces: Atlanta Magazine; The Atlantic; Elle; GQ; Harper's Magazine; Los Angeles Magazine; National Geographic; New York Magazine New Yorker; Paris Review; Rolling Stone; Vanity Fair;Zoetrope: All-Story,
"Stavans's charming and erudite prose will draw in even those unfamiliar with his subjects."—Publishers Weekly starred review
"[Singer's Typewriter and Mine is an] eye-opening book-lover's book."—Ray Olson, Booklist
"This major collection of Ilan Stavans's shorter writings confirms his place as a premier interpreter of the Jewish experience in the Americas."—Philip K. Jason, Jewish Book Council
"A wonderful collection. . . . Stavans is an engaged cultural observer with a gift for the written word."—Sonia Smith, Association of Jewish Libraries
“In short, Stavans is an old-fashioned intellectual, a brilliant interpreter of his triple heritage—Jewish, Mexican, and American.”—Henry Louis Gates Jr.
The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 is an essential guide to the year's most entertaining, politically charged, and sophisticated essays. With pieces first published in The Nation, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker, among other leading publications, this anthology illuminates the most compelling issues of the past year and points to the topics that will concern us in the next. Chosen from among the winners and finalists of the 2008 National Magazine Awards, these articles span an eclectic range, from a chilling account of the CIA's secret interrogation program to a humorous look at the absurdities of modern medicine, from a scathing critique of America's activities in Iraq to an acid takedown of snark culture.
The anthology also includes Matthew Scully's fascinating peek inside the making of the George W. Bush presidency; Walter Kirn's surprising report on the mental effects of multitasking; Steve Oney's investigation into the unforeseen casualties of the Iraq War; Christopher Hitchens's frank assessment of the relationship between illicit sex and politics; Matt Taibbi's award-winning profile of Barack Obama; Peter Hessler's tour of China's instant cities; Caitlin Flanagan's flirtation with the online escapades of minors; Kurt Andersen's meditation on American greed; and Evan Wright's absorbing account of Hollywood's oddest comeback. From one girl's escape from Burundi to an expos? of American coal mining, The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 showcases the unparalleled work of our greatest writers and critics.
This annual anthology of the year's most entertaining, politically charged, and sophisticated essays, offers a rare opportunity to experience in a single volume the top work of veteran reporters and up-and-coming journalists.
A cultural critic of extraordinary erudition, encyclopedic knowledge, and boundless curiosity, Ilan Stavans, an Ashkenazic Jew who grew up in Mexico, negotiates wildly varied topics as effortlessly and deftly as he manages the multiple perspectives of a dual national, religious, and ethnic identity. In Singers Typewriter and Mine
, a follow-up to The Inveterate Dreamer
(Nebraska, 2001), Stavans interweaves his own experience with that of other Jewish writers and thinkers, past and present, to explore modern Jewish culture across the boundaries of language and nation. Juxtaposing the personal and the analytical, these essays and conversations take up the oeuvres of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Mario Vargas Llosa, translation and Gods language, storytelling as midrash, anti-Semitism in Hispanic America, Yiddish and Sephardic literatures, the connection between humor and terror, impostors as cultural agents, the creators of the King James Bible, and the encounter between Jewish and Latino civilizations, to name but a few of Stavanss topics here. Funny, engaging, and provocative, this collection continues Stavanss project of opening new vistas in our cross-cultural understanding of language, literature, and life.
About the Author
Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College.