Synopses & Reviews
"[T]his inaugural title in Houghton's newest 'Best American' series deserves at least as much attention for the remarkable scope and quality of its works [as for Eggers's popularity]....Much of the writing resembles Eggers's, but it doesn't lack originality and the necessary wit. There is enough rareness here to provoke heavy circulation in both public and academic libraries." Library Journal
"While a number of pieces have been included as comic relief, only David Sedaris (unsurprisingly) and the Onion bits...are likely to crack anybody up. Perhaps the truly cool don't want to be caught guffawing....An alternative to the Banana Republic gift certificate for that difficult nephew with a birthday." Kirkus Reviews
Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to the twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind.
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002 is a selection for young people of the best literature from mainstream and alternative American periodicals: from the New Yorker, Jane, Rolling Stone, Zyzzyva, Vibe, The Onion, Spin, Epoch, Time, Little Engines, Modern Humorist, Esquire, and more. Dave Eggers has chosen the highlights of 2001 for this genre-busting collection that includes new fiction, essays, satire, journalism -- and much more. From Eric Schlosser on french fries to Elizabeth McKenzie on awful family to Seaton Smith on how to "jive" with your teen, The Best American Nonrequried Reading 2002 is the first and the best.
About the Author
Dave Eggers, the author of You Shall Know Our Velocity
and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
and the editor of McSweeney's
, is inaugural guest editor. He is the founder of 826 Valencia, a San Francisco writing lab for city youth.
Michael Cart is the author of My Father's Scar, a 1997 ALA Best Book for Young Adults, as well as many other books. A reviewer for major national media, Cart has served on numerous awards committees, including the National Book Award Committee.
Table of Contents
Foreword xi Introduction by Dave Eggers xv
Jenny Bitner. The Pamphleteer 1 from To-Do List
Sara Corbett. The Lost Boys 9 from The New York Times Upfront
Michael Finkel. Naji s Taliban Phase 15 from The New York Times Magazine
Meenakshi Ganguly. Generation Exile 25 from Transition
Karl Taro Greenfeld. Speed Demons 37 from Time
Camden Joy. Hubcap Diamondstar Halo 49 from Little Engines
Michael Kamber. Toil and Temptation 61 from The Village Voice
Sam Lipsyte. Snacks 75 from Jane
Elizabeth McKenzie. Stop That Girl 81 from ZYZZYVA
Seth Mnookin. The Nice New Radicals 95 from Spin
Local Hipster Overexplaining Why He Was at the Mall 105 from The Onion
Marilyn Manson Now Going Door-to-Door Trying to Shock People 109 from The Onion
Keith Pille. Journal of a New Cobra Recruit 113 from McSweeneys.net
Rodney Rothman. My Fake Job 117 from The New Yorker
David Schickler. Fourth Angry Mouse 133 from Zoetrope
Eric Schlosser. Why McDonald s Fries Taste So Good 151 from The Atlantic Monthly
Heidi Jon Schmidt. Blood Poison 165 from Epoch
David Sedaris. To Make a Friend, Be a Friend 185 from Esquire