The Best American Essays 2010

This is a wonderful acknowledgement for a great essay and talented writer.You can read “Missed” in The Masters Review Volume II available for purchase, here.ROBERT ATWAN, the series editor of The Best American Essays since its inception in 1986, has published on a wide variety of subjects, from American advertising and early photography to ancient divination and Shakespeare.

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Guest editor Orlean shakes some dust off this valuable 20-year-old series, serving up a tasty sampler of the year’s more ruminative writing.

As series editor Robert Atwan notes in his forward, the essay was considered essentially dead when the first volume appeared in 1985, an assumption vigorously refuted here.

Cary Holladay's "Merry-Go-Sorry" is one of those rare and always welcome stories.

.of America is far richer artistically because of the review's presence...a worthy stage for the serious works of all writers.

Toni Bentley danced with Balanchine’s New York City Ballet for ten years and is author of five books, all named New York Times Notable Books.

Her essay “The Bad Lion” appeared in Best American Essays 2010 edited by Christopher Hitchens and she is a Guggenheim Fellow.An image of Russian soldiers searching a mass grave in Grozny is balanced by the image of a family returning to the shattered remains of their home in a Chechen village.The feature includes photographs from both sides of what Brander calls “Europe's longest-running but least visible war.Whether the risks involved championing an unpopular opinion, the possibility of ruining a professional career, or irrevocably offending family, for Franzen, “the writer has to be like the firefighter, whose job, while everyone else is fleeing the flames, is to run straight into them.”JONATHAN FRANZEN, guest editor, is the author of five novels, most recently Purity, and five works of nonfiction and translation, including Farther Away and The Kraus Project.08/29/2016In choosing the essays for this thought-provoking volume, guest editor Franzen (Purity) used risk as his main criterion: specifically, did the author take one?Given Orlean’s long association with the New Yorker, it’s hardly surprising that 7 of her 25 selections first appeared there; it’s also more than justified, as the magazine was having a particularly fecund year, and she’s identified the cream of that excellent crop.Pieces from David Remnick’s fiefdom include Catherine Schine’s heartbreaking “Dog Trouble,” about what happens when a dog owner reaches the end of her leash; David Sedaris’s “Old Faithful,” in which a lanced boil becomes a metaphor for togetherness; and Ian Frazier’s zippy ode to forgetfulness, “If Memory Doesn’t Serve.” Harper’s contributes two treasures: Jonathan Lethem’s “Speak, Hoyt-Schermerhorn,” a poignant memory-poem about the Brooklyn subway stop of his childhood that metastasizes into a miniature history of the whole subway system and by extension New York itself; and Kitty Burns Florey’s delightfully geeky “Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog,” which sings the nearly lost delights of diagramming sentences.Good fiction shows us the inside of things--a community, a job, a relationship, the human heart.Great fiction can sometimes show all of these things working together; it lifts us briefly above the event horizon of our own day-to-day existences and gives us a dreamlike (and godlike) sense of understanding what life itself is about.Greg Kimura, editor of “Alaska At 50: The Past, Present and, Next Fifty Years of Alaska Statehood” brings a panel of contributors together to discuss perspectives of Alaska’s history and future. The impact of Alaska Quarterly Review extends far from its origin in my home State and is worthy of celebration by this body and all Americans who recognize the power of the literary arts to shape our thoughts, our ideals, and our country. I have been mightily impressed, paging through the submissions and the final selections, by the staunch way in which publications like Missouri Review, Wilson Quarterly, American Scholar, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Oregon Humanities continue to trust authors to write at length, and readers to take the trouble to repay that trust.Guests include Ronald Spatz, Vic Fischer and Phyllis Fast. I commend Alaska Quarterly Review and its editor, Ronald Spatz, its contributors, and its supporters for 35 years of excellence. Alaska Quarterly Review is holding its creative course and staying true to its original vision of promoting new writers and giving a home to fresh voices on the writing scene. Adding to the poetry, fiction, and essays that the Alaska Quarterly Review has been publishing for twenty-three years, at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, the Fall/Winter issue of the journal, edited by Ronald Spatz, includes an eighty-page photo essay (eighty pages! In “Chechnya: A Decade of War,” photojournalist Heidi Bradner documents the Chechen Republic's decade-long battle for independence from Russia.


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