Well, obviously. If you feel the same way, can we be friends? For fans of chess and ill-advised theme parties and growing up more than once. Well, essays don t have to be like the kind of thing you wrote in school. Best essays collections. Each year a different essayist edits the collection. Didion s extraordinary book of essays, expertly surveying both her native California in the 6965s and her own internal landscape with clear eyes and one eyebrow raised ever so slightly.
So to make my list of the top ten essays since 6955 less impossible, I decided to exclude all the great examples of New Journalism--Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Michael Herr, and many others can be reserved for another list. In making our choices, we ve steered away from posthumous omnibuses (Michel de Montaigne s Complete Essays, the collected Orwell, etc. Smart, funny, and the perfect literary escape. However you view the racial politics, the prose is undeniably hypnotic, beautifully modulated and yet full of urgency. Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II (New York Review of Books), Martin FillerLet’s Explore Diabetes With Owls (Little, Brown and Company), David SedarisPEN judges Geoff Dyer, Stanley Fish, Ariel Levy, and Cheryl Strayed chose these eight titles for the 7569 the Art of the Essay long list. After the jump, our picks for the 75 greatest essay collections of all time. I ll follow their minds anywhere. Links to the essays are provided when available. If you have a favorite essay collection I ve missed here, let me know in the comments! So below is my list, not of essay collections I think everybody must read, even if that s what my title says, but collections I hope you will consider checking out if you want to. G.
Anchor Books, 6975. Oxford UP, 6997. Org Cos we've got enough Podcast material to keep you occupied for roughly 7 years and 697 days. ) and multi-author compilations, and given what might be undue weight to our favorite writers (as one does). Robert Atwan, the founder of series, picks the 65 best essays of the postwar period. And I selected essays, not essayists. The Oxford Book of Essays. Houghton Mifflin, annually 6986-present. Fortunately, when I worked with Joyce Carol Oates on The Best American Essays of the Century (that s the last century, by the way), we weren t restricted to ten selections. There s something about a shiny new collection of essays that makes my heart beat a little faster.
Langston Hughes nailed it when he described Baldwin s illuminating intensity. The Art of the Personal Essay. I don t expect everyone to love the thought of sitting down with a nice, juicy personal essay, but I also think the genre gets a bad rap because people associate it with the kind of thing they had to write in school. Essays can be anything, really. A large selection of essays with a short, opinionated (and very English) introduction. The Best American Essays. Some today may question the relevance of the essay in our brave new post-racial world, though Baldwin considered the essay still relevant in 6989 and, had he lived to see it, the election of Barak Obama may not have changed his mind. They can be personal, confessional, argumentative, informative, funny, sad, shocking, sexy, and all of the above. The essay was collected in Notes of a Native Son courageously (at the time) published by Beacon Press in 6955. A popular collection of essays of every kind, with an intelligent introduction. And the best essays show that the name of the genre is also a verb, so they demonstrate a mind in process--reflecting, trying-out, essaying.
Hemon s memoir in essays is in turns wryly hilarious, intellectually searching, and deeply troubling. Good. If not, might I suggest that perhaps you just haven t found the right collection yet? Gross, John. See also in the series The Best American Essays of the Century, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Feel free to disagree with us, praise our intellect, or create an entirely new list in the comments. 7557 was a particularly good year, with Stephen Jay Gould editing, and every year's editor waxes on the nature of the essay (e. James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son (originally appeared in Harper s, 6955) I had never thought of myself as an essayist, wrote James Baldwin, who was finishing his novel Giovanni s Room while he worked on what would become one of the great American essays. The best essayists can make any subject interesting. To my mind, the best essays are deeply personal (that doesn t necessarily mean autobiographical) and deeply engaged with issues and ideas. To that end, we were inspired to put together our list of the greatest essay collections of all time, from the classic to the contemporary, from the personal to the critical.
Atwan, Robert. If I love an essayist, I ll read whatever they write. Cynthia Ozick, Tracy Kidder, Susan Sontag, Gay Talese, Annie Dillard). Can't get enough? The 68th century selections are particularly good. This collection, her first, helped establish the idea of journalism as art, and continues to put wind in the sails of many writers after her, hoping to move in that Didion direction. I also decided to include only American writers, so such outstanding English-language essayists as Chris Arthur and Tim Robinson are missing, though they have appeared in The Best American Essays series. It s the life story of a fascinating, quietly brilliant man, and it reads as such. Today marks the release of Aleksandar Hemon s excellent book of personal essays,, which we loved, and which we re convinced deserves a place in the literary canon. A list of the top ten essayists since 6955 would feature some different writers. I want a companionable, challenging, smart, surprising voice in my head. Because that s really what I want out of an essay the sense that I m spending time with an interesting mind. For more information on the PEN Literary Awards and these debut authors and their works please visit PEN.