Synopses & Reviews
The renowned nonfiction annual makes its Penguin debut
For more than a decade, Philip Zaleski has collected into a single volume the best spiritual essays and poetry of the year. The Best Spiritual Writing 2010, featuring essays by John Updike and Diane Ackerman, poems from Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney and Pulitzer Prize-winner Louise Glück, and personal reflections by Richard Rodriguez and Leon Wieseltier, is sure to expand on the series' already wide recognition and reach the growing audience of readers searching for unsurpassed spiritual writing.
Mary Jo Bang, Jane Hirshfield, Melissa Range, Rick Bass, Paula Huston, Pattiann Rogers, David Berlinski, Pico Iyer, Amanda Shaw, Joseph Bottum, Charles Johnson, Master Sheng Yen, Nicholas Carr, Jon D. Levenson, Floyd Skloot, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Philip Levine, Meir Soloveichik, Billy Collins, Wilfred M. McClay, Richard Wilbur, Chrisi Cox, Richard John Neuhaus, Seamus Heaney, Robert Pinsky
"It can be easy to dismiss the word 'best' on the cover of anything these days. The term has been devalued, slapped on too many CD covers and kitchen appliances, erasing its former profound linguistic value. Zaleski's compilation of spiritual writings, however, restores 'best' to its rightful exceptional place. The book's selections range from poetry and short fiction to memoir and essay, hailing from a variety of authorial and cultural sources. Just as literary form varies, Zaleski wisely recognizes, too, that spirituality can be defined almost infinitely, encompassing a vast range of belief and even nonbelief. Poems from the Atlantic or the New Yorker command attention in addition to longer treatises on 'The God of the Gaps' and Buddhist enlightenment. John Updike sits next to Orthodox Judaism while the Dalai Lama spends the night in suburban New York. A Kazakh healer chats with Seamus Heaney, and secularization theory is next in line. It is a curious literary party at first glance, but the diverse forms, voices, topics gradually coalesce into something bigger and more elegant, something spiritual and extraordinary: the Best." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For more than a decade, Zaleski has collected into single volumes the best spiritual essays and poetry of each. The 2010 edition includes contributions by John Updike, Diane Ackerman, Seamus Heaney, Mary Jo Bang, Amanda Shaw, and many others.
About the Author
is the founding editor of the Best Spiritual Writing series and the co-author, most recently, of Prayer: A History
Pico Iyer is the author of several books about faith and crossing cultures in the modern world. His most recent book is The Open Road.