Synopses & 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 hundreds of pieces from dozens 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.
From The New Yorker to The Georgia Review, from Esquire to The American Scholar, the editors of THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS have scoured hundreds of the country's best periodicals in search of the most artful and powerful writing around. This thoughtful, provocative collection is the result of their search.
This year's Best American Essays is edited by the best-selling, award-winning writer Kathleen Norris, whose books include Dakota and The Virgin of Bennington.
Published: Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., -
This years Best American Essays is edited by the best-selling, award-winning writer Kathleen Norris, whose books include Dakota andThe Virgin of Bennington. The writers in this volume invite us into hidden places: a surgical pathologists laboratory, the boxing gym where a college professor and his student learn unexpected lessons about discipline, pain, and growing to adulthood. There are many discoveries to be made here, and I gladly invite the reader to an uncommonly rich and rewarding book.” Kathleen Norris
About the Author
Kathleen Norris is the author of two books of poetry, Falling Off (1971) and The Middle of the World (1981) and has received awards from the Guggenheim and Bush foundations. She lives in Lemmon, South Dakota, with her husband.ROBERT ATWAN has been the series editor of The Best American Essays since its inception in 1986. He has edited numerous literary anthologies and written essays and reviews for periodicals nationwide.
Table of Contents
Contents Foreword by Robert Atwan viii Introduction: Stories Around a Fire by Kathleen Norris xiv Diane Ackerman. In the Memory Mines 1 from Michigan Quarterly Review Ben Birnbaum. How to Pray: Reverence, Stories, and the Rebbes Dream 14 from Image Charles Bowden. The Bone Garden of Desire 30 from Esquire James Campbell. Travels with R.L.S. 46 from The New York Times Book Review Anne Fadiman. Mail 50 from The American Scholar Francine Du Plessix Gray. The Work of Mourning 60 from The American Scholar Jeffrey Heiman. Vin Laforge 73 from The Massachusetts Review Edward Hoagland. Calliope Times 82 from The New Yorker Adam Hochschild. Indias American Imports 94 from The American Scholar Barbara Hurd. Refugium 106 from The Georgia Review Stephen King. On Impact 120 from The New Yorker Yusef Komunyakaa. Blue Machinery of Summer 132 from The Washington Post Magazine Marcus Laffey. The Midnight Tour 141 from The New Yorker Lenore Look. Facing the Village 152 from M\\TNTAccentsOneSTART\\K\\TNTAccentsOneEND\\anoa Rebecca McClanahan. Book Marks 165 from The Southern Review Daphne Merkin. Trouble in the Tribe 181 from The New Yorker David Michaelis. Provincetown 193 from The American Scholar Spencer Nadler. Brain-Cell Memories 208 from Harpers Magazine Mary Oliver. Dust 218 from Shenandoah Reynolds Price. Dear Harper: A Letter to a Godchild About God 221 from Forbes ASAP Tim Robinson. The Fineness of Things 235 from The Recorder Carlo Rotella. Cut Time 246 from The American Scholar Ashraf Rushdy. Exquisite Corpse 261 from Transition Earl Shorris. The Last Word 270 from Harpers Magazine Bert O. States. On Being Breathless 284 from The Gettysburg Review William T. Vollmann. Upside Down and Backward 296 from Forbes ASAP Biographical Notes 303 Notable Essays of 2000 309