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Authors: Jonathan Franzen

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The Best American Essays 2016

BOOK: The Best American Essays 2016
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The Best American Essays 2016
Jonathan Franzen
Mariner Books (2016)
Tags: Literature & Fiction, Essays & Correspondence, Essays
Literature & Fictionttt Essays & Correspondencettt Essaysttt

“Offers illuminating, invaluable glimpses into lives that might otherwise remain outside the reader’s ken” —*Publishers Weekly
*

The award-winning and best-selling Jonathan Franzen picks the best essays from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. He brings his “elegance, acumen, and daring as an essayist” (
New York Times)
to the collection. 

**

Book Description

Mariner paperback, 2015; previous ISBN 978-0-544-56962-1

From the Back Cover

The Best American Series®
A true essay is “something hazarded, not definitive, not authoritative; something ventured on the basis of the author’s personal experience and subjectivity,” writes guest editor Jonathan Franzen in his introduction. However, his main criterion for selecting
The Best American Essays 2016
was, in a word, risk. 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.”

The Best American Essays 2016
includes
ALEXANDER CHEE, PAUL CRENSHAW, JAQUIRA DÍAZ,
LAURA KIPNIS, AMITAVA KUMAR, SEBASTIAN JUNGER,
JOYCE CAROL OATES, OLIVER SACKS, THOMAS CHATTERTON WILLIAMS
and others

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.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the German Akademie der Künste, and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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. His criticism, essays, humor, poetry, and fiction have appeared in numerous periodicals nationwide.

Contents
Title Page
Contents
Copyright
Foreword by Robert Atwan
Introduction by Jonathan Franzen
FRANCISCO CANTÚ
, Bajadas
ALEXANDER CHEE
, Girl
CHARLES COMEY
, Against Honeymoons
PAUL CRENSHAW
, Names
JAQUIRA DÍAZ
, Ordinary Girls
IRINA DUMITRESCU
, My Father and The Wine
ELA HARRISON
, My Heart Lies Between “The Fleet” and “All the Ships”
SEBASTIAN JUNGER
, The Bonds of Battle
LAURA KIPNIS
, Sexual Paranoia
JORDAN KISNER
, Thin Places
AMITAVA KUMAR
, Pyre
RICHARD M. LANGE
, Of Human Carnage
LEE MARTIN
, Bastards
LISA NIKOLIDAKIS
, Family Tradition
JOYCE CAROL OATES
, The Lost Sister: An Elegy
MARSHA POMERANTZ
, Right/Left: A Triptych
JILL SISSON QUINN
, Big Night
JUSTIN PHILLIP REED
, Killing Like They Do in the Movies
OLIVER SACKS
, A General Feeling of Disorder
KATHERINE E. STANDEFER
, In Praise of Contempt
GEORGE STEINER
, The Eleventh Commandment
MASON STOKES
, Namesake
THOMAS CHATTERTON WILLIAMS
, Black and Blue and Blond
Contributors’ Notes
Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2015
Notable Special Issues of 2015
Read More from The Best American Series®
About the Editors

Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Introduction copyright © 2016 by Jonathan Franzen

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

The Best American Series
®
and
The Best American Essays
®
are registered trademarks of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

 

No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system without the proper written permission of the copyright owner unless such copying is expressly permitted by federal copyright law. With the exception of nonprofit transcription in Braille, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is not authorized to grant permission for further uses of copyrighted selections reprinted in this book without the permission of their owners. Permission must be obtained from the individual copyright owners as identified herein. Address requests for permission to make copies of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt material to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York 10016.

 

www.hmhco.com

 

ISSN
0888-3742

ISBN
978-0-544-81210-9

 

e
ISBN
978-0-544-81217-8
v1.0816

 

Cover design by Christopher Moisan © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

“Bajadas” by Francisco Cantú. First published in
Ploughshares
, Winter 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Francisco Cantú. Reprinted by permission of Francisco Cantú.

“Girl” by Alexander Chee. First published in
Guernica
, March 16, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Alexander Chee. Reprinted by permission of the Wylie Agency, LLC.

“Against Honeymoons” by Charles Comey. First published in the
Point
, Summer 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Charles Comey. Reprinted by permission of Charles Comey.

“Names” by Paul Crenshaw. First published in
Hobart
, November 2, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Paul Crenshaw. Reprinted by permission of Hobart.

“Ordinary Girls” by Jaquira Díaz. First published in
Kenyon Review
, Nov/Dec, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Jaquira Díaz. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“My Father and the Wine” by Irina Dumitrescu. First published in the
Yale Review
, April 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Irina Dumitrescu. Reprinted by permission of Irina Dumitrescu.

“My Heart Lies Between ‘The Fleet’ and ‘All the Ships’” by Ela Harrison. First published in the
Georgia Review
, Winter 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Ela Harrison. Reprinted by permission of Ela Harrison.

“The Bonds of Battle” by Sebastian Junger. First published in
Vanity Fair
, June 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Sebastian Junger. Reprinted by permission of Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, Inc.

“Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” by Laura Kipnis. First published in the
Chronicle Review
, February 27, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Laura Kipnis. Reprinted by permission of Laura Kipnis.

“Thin Places” by Jordan Kisner. First published in
n + 1
, Spring 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Jordan Kisner. Reprinted by permission of Jordan Kisner.

“Pyre” by Amitava Kumar. First published in
Granta
, no. 130, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Amitava Kumar. Reprinted by permission of Amitava Kumar.

“Of Human Carnage” by Richard M. Lange. First published in
Catamaran Literary Reader
, Winter 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Richard M. Lange. Reprinted by permission of Richard M. Lange.

“Bastards” by Lee Martin. First published in the
Georgia Review
, Summer 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Lee Martin. Reprinted by permission of Lee Martin.

“Family Tradition” by Lisa Nikolidakis. First published in
Southern Indiana Review
, Spring 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Nikolidakis. Reprinted by permission of Lisa Nikolidakis.

“The Lost Sister: An Elegy” by Joyce Carol Oates. First published in
Narrative Magazine
, Fall 2015. From
The Lost Landscape
by Joyce Carol Oates. Copyright © 2015 by the Ontario Review, Inc. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

“Right/Left: A Triptych” by Marsha Pomerantz. First published in
Raritan
, Summer 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Marsha Pomerantz. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Big Night” by Jill Sisson Quinn. First published in
New England Review
, no. 36/1, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Jill Sisson Quinn. Reprinted by permission of Jill R. Quinn/New England Review.

“Killing Like They Do in the Movies” by Justin Phillip Reed. First published in
Catapult
, October 30, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Justin Phillip Reed. Reprinted by permission of Justin Phillip Reed.

“A General Feeling of Disorder” by Oliver Sacks. First published in the
New York Review of Books
, April 23, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Oliver Sacks. Reprinted by permission of the Wylie Agency, LLC.

“In Praise of Contempt” by Katherine E. Standefer. First published in the
Iowa Review
, vol. 45, Issue 3, Winter 2015/2016. Copyright © 2015 by Katherine E. Standefer. Reprinted by permission of Katherine E. Standefer.

“The Eleventh Commandment” by George Steiner. First published in
Salmagundi
, Winter/Spring 2015. Copyright © 2015 by George Steiner. Reprinted by permission of George Steiner.

“Namesake” by Mason Stokes. First published in
Colorado Review
, Summer 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Mason Stokes. Reprinted by permission of Mason Stokes.

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