The Contemporary American Essay

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-08-03
  • Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

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Supplemental Materials

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A dazzling anthology of essays by some of the best writers of the past quarter century—from Barry Lopez and Margo Jefferson to David Sedaris and Samantha Irby—selected by acclaimed essayist Phillip Lopate.

The first decades of the twenty-first century have witnessed a blossoming of creative nonfiction. In this extraordinary collection, Phillip Lopate gathers essays by forty-seven of America’s best contemporary writers, mingling long-established eminences with newer voices and making room for a wide variety of perspectives and styles. The Contemporary American Essay is a monument to a remarkably adaptable form and a treat for anyone who loves fantastic writing.
Hilton Als • Nicholson Baker • Thomas Beller • Sven Birkerts • Eula Biss • Mary Cappello • Anne Carson • Terry Castle • Alexander Chee • Teju Cole • Bernard Cooper • Sloane Crosley • Charles D’Ambrosio • Meghan Daum • Brian Doyle • Geoff Dyer • Lina Ferreira • Lynn Freed • Rivka Galchen • Ross Gay • Louise Glück • Emily Fox Gordon • Patricia Hampl • Aleksandar Hemon • Samantha Irby • Leslie Jamison • Margo Jefferson • Laura Kipnis • David Lazar • Yiyun Li • Phillip Lopate • Barry Lopez • Thomas Lynch • John McPhee • Ander Monson • Eileen Myles • Maggie Nelson • Meghan O’Gieblyn • Joyce Carol Oates • Darryl Pinckney • Lia Purpura • Karen Russell • David Sedaris • Shifra Sharlin • David Shields • Floyd Skloot • Rebecca Solnit • Clifford Thompson • Wesley Yang

An Anchor Original.

Author Biography

PHILLIP LOPATE is the author of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction and four essay collections, Bachelorhood, Against Joie de Vivre, Portrait of My Body, and Portrait Inside My Head. He is the editor of the anthologies The Glorious American Essay, The Golden Age of the American Essay, The Art of the Personal Essay, Writing New York, and American Movie Critics. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and two New York Foundation for the Arts grants. He is a professor of writing at Columbia University's nonfiction MFA program and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Phillip Lopate

“I Am The Happiness Of This World” by Hilton Als
“One Summer” by Nicholson Baker
”Portrait of the Bagel As a Young Man” by Thomas Beller        
Excerpt from "On Immunity" by Eula Biss     
“Tactless” by Mary Cappello          
“Decreation” by Anne Carson         
“Home Alone” by Terry Castle       
“Girl” by Alexander Chee        
“Black Body” by Teju Cole
“Greedy Sleep” by Bernard Cooper
“The Doctor Is A Woman” by Sloane Crosley      
“Loitering” by Charles D'Ambrosio            
“Matricide” by Meghan Daum        
“Otherwise Known As The Human Condition (with particular reference to Doughnut Plant doughnuts)” by Geoff Dyer          
“CID–LAX–BOG” by Lina Ferreira           
“Faculty Wife” by Emily Fox Gordon        
“Doing No Harm: Some Thoughts on Reading and Writing in the Age of Umbrage” by Lynn Freed     
“The Case of the Angry Daughter” by Rivka Galchen      
“Scat” by Ross Gay    
“On Revenge” by Louise Gluck      
“Other People’s Secrets” by Patricia Hampl          
“The Aquarium” by Aleksandar Hemon     
“The Terror of Love” by Samantha Irby    
“The Empathy Exams” by Leslie Jamison    
“Negroland” by Margo Jefferson    
“Domestic Gulags” by Laura Kipnis          
“Ann: Death and the Maiden” by David Lazar           
“Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life” by Yiyun Li      
“Experience Necessary” by Phillip Lopate            
“The Invitation” by Barry Lopez    
“Bodies in Motion and at Rest” by Thomas Lynch           
“Draft No. 4” by John McPhee        
“Live Through That?!” by Eileen Myles      
Excerpt from The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson   
“Homeschool” by Meghan O’Gieblyn        
“A Visit to San Quentin” by Joyce Carol Oates    
“Busted in New York” by Darryl Pinckney           
“Against ‘Gunmetal’” by Lia Purpura        
“Beeper World” by Karen Russell  
“This Old House” by David Sedaris           
“Differences: Sex, Separateness & Marriage” by Shifra Sharlin
“Information Sickness” by David Shields        
“Gray Area: Thinking With a Damaged Brain” by Floyd Skloot      
“Cassandra Among the Creeps” by Rebecca Solnit          
“Eric Garner and Me” by Clifford Thompson        
“We Out Here” by Wesley Yang    

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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