Monday, June 15, 2020

Anne Fadiman

Anne Fadiman is the editor of the American Scholar, which won a National Magazine Award in 2001. She is the author of two books of nonfiction, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award) and Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. Fadiman lives with her husband and two children in western Massachusetts, where she teaches nonfiction writing at Smith College.

Kathleen Norris

Kathleen Norris is the best-selling, award-winning author of Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, The Cloister Walk, and Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. Her most recent book is The Virgin of Bennington, a memoir. She lives in South Dakota and Hawaii.

Joyce Carol Oates

JOYCE CAROL OATES — novelist, essayist, critic, poet, playwright, and teacher — is one of our preeminent literary figures and social critics. She has written more than forty novels and novellas, among them the 1970 National Book Award winner Them, as well as several volumes of poetry, many plays, and five books of literary criticism. She has been a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters since 1978. Her most recent work, Blonde, is a novel about Marilyn Monroe.

Gay Talese

Gay Talese is the author of The Kingdom and the Power, Honor Thy Father, Fame and Obscurity, and Thy Neighbor's Wife. He is currently at work on a book about his Italian heritage.
- Back Cover, The Best American Essays 1987.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Edwidge Danticat

EDWIDGE DANTICAT, editor, is the author of several books, including Brother, I'm Dying, a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Her most recent book is Create Dangerously, a collection of essays.

Joseph Brodsky

JOESEPH BRODSKY, exiled from the Soviet Union in 1972, is Five College Professor of Literature at Mount Holyoke College. His collection of poems, A Part of Speech, was published in 1980; and a collection of essays, Less Than One, came out in 1986. He is a MacArthur Prize Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A new collection of poetry, Homeage to Urania, will be published in 1987.
- p. 283, The Best American Essays 1986.

Donald Barthelme

DONALD BARTHELME has published many collections of short stories, among them Come Back, Dr. Caligari; Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts; City Life; Guilty Pleasures; Sadness; Amateurs; Great Days; and Overnight to Many Distant Cities. He has also written two novels, Snow White and The Dead Father.
- p. 283, The Best American Essays 1986.

Julian Barnes

JULIAN BARNES is the author of Metroland, Before She Met Me, and Flaubert's Parrot. He was recently awarded the 1986 E. M. Forster Award by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. His next novel, Staring at the Sun, will be published by Knopf in 1987.
- p. 283, The Best American Essays 1986.

David Brooks

DAVID BROOKS, editor, is a New York Times op-ed columnist and the author, most recently, of The Social Animal. He is also a commentator on the PBS NewsHour and a frequent analyst on NPR's All Things Considered.

Elizabeth Hardwick

Elizabeth Hardwick is advisory editor of The New York Review of Books and the author of three collections of essays, as well as three novels, and she is the editor of The Selected Letters of William James.
- Back Cover, The Best American Essays 1986.

Cheryl Strayed

CHERYL STRAYED, editor, is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wild, the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, and the novel Torch. Strayed's writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Allure, the Missouri Review, the Sun, the Rumpus — where she has written the popular "Dear Sugar" column since 2010 — and elsewhere.
- Back Cover, The Best American Essays 2013.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

John Jeremiah Sullivan

JOHN JEREMIAH SULLIVAN, guest editor, is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the southern editor of the Paris Review. He's been the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Pushcart Prize, and an M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award. He is the author of Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter's Son and Pulphead: Essays.
- Back Cover, The Best American Essays 2014.

Ariel Levy

ARIEL LEVY, guest editor, has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2008. She received the National Magazine Award for essays and criticism for her piece "Thanksgiving in Mongolia," which she is expanding into a book. Female Chauvinist Pigs, Levy's first book, has been translated into seven languages. She teaches at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and at Wesleyan University.

Jonathan Franzen

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 K√ľnste, and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
- Back Cover, The Best American Essays 2016.

Leslie Jamison

LESLIE JAMISON, guest editor, is the author of The Empathy Exams, a New York Times best-selling essay collection. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is an assistant professor at Columbia University.
- Back Cover, The Best American Essays 2017.

Dayna Tortorici

DAYNA TORTORICI has served as coeditor in chief of n+1 with Nikil Saval since 2014. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, the Guardian, Harper's Magazine, n+1, the New York Times Books Review, the Village Voice, and elsewhere. She has edited three small books with n+1, most recently No Regrets. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Jia Tolentino

JIA TOLENTINO is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of the essay collection Trick Mirror. She formerly worked as the deputy editor at Jezebel and contributing editor at the Hairpin. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Gary Taylor

GARY TAYLOR is the general editor of The New Oxford Shakespeare: Complete Works and of Thomas Middleton's Collected Works. He has written for the Washington Post and the Guardian, and has re-created Shakespeare's partially lost play The History of Cardenio (based on Don Quixote).

Kai Minosh Pyle

KAI MINOSH PYLE is Michif and Sault Ste. Marie Nishnaabe writer and Indigenous-language advocate. Their work has been published in PRISM International, Nat. Brut, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and Red Rising Magazine. Currently they are PhD student in American studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Dawn Lundy Martin

DAWN LUNDY MARTIN is the author of four books of poems, including, most recently, Good Stock Strange Blood, which won the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her essays can be found in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, n+1, and the Believer. Martin is a professor of English in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. She is also the recipient of a 2018 NEA grant in creative writing.

Terese Marie Mailhot

TERESE MARIE MAILHOT is from Seabird Island Indian Band. She is the New York Times best-selling author of Heart Berries: A Memoir and the winner of a 2019 Whiting Award. Her essays have appeared in Guernica, Granta, Pacific Standard, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at Purdue University.

Lili Loofbourow

LILI LOOFBOUROW received her MFA from the University of Alabama. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, the New Republic, the Guardian, PMLA, Post 45, The Week, The Cut, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the New Inquiry. She has twice won the Staige D. Blackford Prize for nonfiction. She is a staff writer at Slate.

J. Drew Lanham

J. DREW LANHAM's work probes the intersections between nature, race, and identity. His book, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature, was named a John Burroughs Association Book of Uncommon Merit in 2017, and won the Southern Environmental Law Center's Reed Writing Award in 2018 and the Southern Book Prize. His work appears in Orion, Places Journal, Oxford American, and numerous anthologies. He is the poet laureate of Edgefield, South Carolina, and the author of Sparrow Envy: Poems. He is the Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Elizabeth Kolbert

ELIZABETH KOLBERT is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She is the author of The Sixth Extinction, which received the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2015, and Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change.

Walter Johnson

WALTER JOHNSON—a founding member of the Commonwealth Project, which brings together the efforts of academics, artists, and activists in support of arts-based social action in St. Louis—teaches history and directs the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. He has written for the Boston Review, where he is a contributing editor, Dissent, the Times Literary Supplement, Raritan, and the New York Times, and is the author of two books, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market and River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Mississippi Valley's Cotton Kingdom. By the Rivers of Babylon: St. Louis and the Broken Heart of American History will be published in the spring of 2020.

Lacy M. Johnson

LACY M. JOHNSON is a Houston-based professor, curator, and activist, and is the author of the essay collection The Reckonings, the memoir The Other Side— both National Book Critics Circle Award finalists—and the memoir Trespasses. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, Guernica, and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University and is the founding director of the Houston Flood Museum.
- pp. 210-211, The Best American Essays 2019.

© 2020

Jean Guerrero

JEAN GUERRERO is the author of Crux A Cross-Border Memoir and is a recipient of the PEN/FUSION Emerging Writers Prize. She is an Emmy-winning investigative journalist covering the US-Mexico border for KPBS, NPR, the PBS NewsHour, and other public media. Her writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Seattle Times, Literary Hub, and more. She lives in San Diego.
- p. 210, The Best American Essays 2019.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Masha Gessen

MASHA GESSEN is a journalist and the author of ten books of nonfiction, most recently The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the 2017 National Book Award for nonfiction. Gessen is also the author of the national bestseller The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a national fellow with New America Foundation.
- p. 210, The Best American Essays 2019.

Camille T. Dungy

CAMILLE T. DUNGY is the author of the essay collection Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, a finalist for the National Book Critics Award, as well as four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade. Dungy has also edited anthologies, including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry and From the Fishhouse. Her essays have appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, the Georgia Review, New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She is a professor at Colorado State University.
- p. 210, The Best American Essays 2019.

Alexander Chee

ALEXANDER CHEE is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, a collection of essays. He is a recipient of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA fellowship in prose, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri, and Amtrak. His essays and stories have appeared in The New Yorker, the Yale Review, the Sewanee Review, and The Best American Essays 2016, among others. He is currently at work on a short story collection and teaches at Dartmouth College.
- p. 210, The Best American Essays 2019.

Jabari Asim

JABARI ASIM is the author of several books. His most recent, We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival, was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. He lives near Boston, where he directs the MFA program in creative writing at Emerson College.
- p. 210, The Best American Essays 2019.

Mario Alejandro Ariza

MARIO ALEJANDRO ARIZA is a Dominican immigrant to the United States. He is the author of the forthcoming Disposable City: Miami's Future on the Shores of Climate Change. He holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Miami and a master's degree in Hispanic cultural studies from Columbia University. His poetry, journalism, and nonfiction writing can be found in places like BOAAT, the Atlantic, and the Believer.
- p. 209, The Best American Essays 2019.

Heather Altfeld

HEATHER ALTFELD's poetry collection The Disappearing Theatre won the 2016 Poets at Work Prize, selected by Stephen Dunn. Her poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in Conjunctions, Orion, Aeon, Narrative Magazine, and the Georgia Review, among others. She lives in northern California, where she teaches humanities and honors courses at California State University, Chico.
- p. 209, The Best American Essays 2019.

Hilton Als

HILTON ALS, guest editor, became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1994 and a theater critic in 2002. Previously, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice and and editor at large at Vibe. His first book, The Women, was published in 1996. His most recent book, White Girls, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of the Lambda Literary Award in 2014, discusses various narratives of race and gender. He won the Pulitzer Prize in criticism in 2017.


  • JEAN GUERRERO   My Father Says He's a "Targeted Individual." Maybe We All Are.   88

Tin House

  • LACY M. JOHNSON   On Likability   105

The Sewanee Review

  • ALEXANDER CHEE   The Autobiography of My Novel   52

The Yale Review

  • JABARI ASIM   Getting It Twisted   40

The New Yorker

  • ELIZABETH KOLBERT   How to Write About a Vanishing World   124
  • JIA TOLENTINO   The Rage of the Incels   192

The New York Review of Books

  • MASHA GESSEN   Stories of a Life   77

The New York Times

The Boston Review

  • WALTER JOHNSON   Guns in the Family   113

The Georgia Review

  • CAMILLE T. DUNGY   Is All Writing Environmental Writing?   70

Tampa Bay Times

  • GARY TAYLOR   Death of an English Major   189


  • LILI LOOFBOUROW   Men Are More Afraid Than Ever   145

The Believer

  • MARIO ALEJANDRO ARIZA   Come Heat and High Water   23


Pacific Standard

  • TERESE MARIE MAILHOT   Silence Breaking Woman   151


  • DAWN LUNDY MARTIN   When a Person Goes Missing   162
  • DAYNA TORTORICI   In the Maze   197

Harper's Magazine