As this acclaimed series celebrates its fifteenth year, Alan Lightman, the best-selling author of Einstein's Dreams, has assembled a diverse, very personal collection of the year's best short nonfiction, writings that celebrate the essay as an independent genre unlike any other. In his introduction, he declares that the ideal essay is "not an assignment, to be dispatched efficiently and intelligently, but an exploration, a questioning, an introspection . . . It thrashes and moves, like all living things." These pieces embrace stylistic freedom and strong opinions while affording the reader a fascinating view of work in progress, offering a front-row seat as the writer's mind struggles with truth, memory, and experience. This year's selection features extraordinary essays by such renowned writers as Mary Gordon, Edward Hoagland, Jamaica Kincaid, and Wendell Berry as well by some talented new voices, on a delightfully dizzying variety of subjects. Andre Aciman wrestles with memories of remembering Paris, and William H. Gass delivers an exuberant defense of the printed book as a safe port in the data storms of the information age. Peter Singer views world poverty with an ethicist's eye, and Andrew Sullivan maps the spread of hate crimes in America. "The qualities I treasure most about these essays are their authenticity and life," Lightman writes. As this volume of THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS demonstrates, this unique literary form continues to thrive as a creative outlet for some of America's finest writers.
The best American essays 2000
Boston, MA : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
xviii, 233 p. ;,22 cm.
The last time I saw Paris / André Aciman
In distrust of movements / Wendell Berry
The joys and perils of Victimhood / Ian Buruma
A son in shadow / Fred D'aguiar
Westbury court / Edwidge Danticat
In defense of the book / William H. Gass
Rome: the visible city / Mary Gordon
Earth's eye / Edward Hoagland
Those words that echo ... echo ... echo ... through life / Jamaica Kincaid
If you are what you eat, then what am I? / Geeta Kothari
The resurrectionist / Richard McCann
The synthetic sublime / Cynthia Ozick
The force of spirit / Scott Russell Sanders
At a certain age / Lynne Sharon Schwartz
The singer solution to world poverty / Peter Singer
Gray area: thinking with a damaged brain / Floyd Skloot
Listening for silence / Mark Slouka
Heroin/e / Cheryl Strayed
What's so bad about hate? / Andrew Sullivan
A designer universe? / Steven Weinberg
A shark in the mind of one contemplating wilderness / Terry Tempest Williams.
Statement of Responsibility:
edited and with an introduction by Alan Lightman ; Robert Atwan, series editor
Includes bibliographical references (p. -233).
American essays 20th century.