Best American Essays 2009

I think it's unlikely that anyone is reading this as an introduction. Most of the people I know treat Best American Essays like Whitman Samplers. They skip around, pick and choose ... Which means that the reader has more freedom of choice, which of course is part of what this country is all about. ... The guest editor's intro is last, if at all.

 ... your guest editor is not really even the main sub-subcontractor on this job. The real Decider, in terms of processing info and reducing entropy, is Mr. Robert Atwan, the BAE series editor ... he's really the one doing the full-time reading and culling.

 Given the amount of quiet, behind-the-scenes power he wields over these prize collections, you're entitled to ask about Mr. Atwan's standard's for inclusion and forwarding;
[Here Wallace gives us the footnote for this page; he displays affection for peppered and peppery footnotes:

I believe this is what is known in the nonfiction industry as a transition. We are starting to poke tentatively at 'Best', which is the most obviously fraught and bias-prone word on the cover.
J.Z.]
but he's far too experienced and cagey to encourage these sorts of questions. ...

 I, on the other hand, have a strict term limit. After this, I go forever back to being an ordinary civilian and BAE reader (except for the introductions). I therefore feel free here to try for at least partial transparency about my Decidering criteria, some of which are obviously — let's be grownups and just admit it — subjective. ...

 But it is possible for something to be both a quantum of information and a vector of meaning.

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reliable and yet still surprising--the best of the best." (Kirkus Reviews ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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About the Author

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.

Read more

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reliable and yet still surprising--the best of the best." (Kirkus Reviews ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Read more

About the Author

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.

Read more

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reliable and yet still surprising--the best of the best." (Kirkus Reviews ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Read more

About the Author

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.

Read more

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

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