The Best American Essays 1999

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Edward Hoagland, Robert Atwan
Houghton Mifflin, 1999 - Literary Collections - 297 pages
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This year's wonderfully diverse collection, which features such respected writers as Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Ian Frazier, Mary Gordon, and Arthur Miller. These essays range widely across the American landscape -- from a California monastery to a Manhattan apartment -- and along the way introduce us to a fine array of talented new voices. Called by John Updike "the best essayist of my generation," Hoagland has assembled a powerful volume that vividly showcases the art and craft of the contemporary essay. IN SEARCH OF PROUST by Andre Aciman, TORCH SONG by Charles Bowden, COMPRESSION WOOD by Franklin Burroughs, VISITOR by Michael W. Cox, LAST WORDS by Joan Didion, FOR THE TIME BEING by Annie Dillard, THE METEORITES by Brian Doyle, A LOVELY SORT OF LOWER PURPOSE by Ian Frazier, VICTORIA by Dagoberto Gilb, STILL LIFE by Mary Gordon, A WEEK IN THE WORD by Patricia Hampl, THE COUNTRY BELOW by Barbara Hurd, THE LION AND ME by John Lahr, MAKING IT UP by Hilary Masters, ON THE FEDALA ROAD by John McNeel, AMERICAN HEARTWORM by Ben Metcalf, BEFORE AIR CONDITIONING by Arthur Miller, AFTER AMNESIA by Joyce Carol Oates, THE IMPIOUS IMPATIENCE OF JOB by Cynthia Ozick, PLANET OF WEEDS by David Quammen, ON SILENCE by Daisy Eunyoung Rhau, BEAUTY by Scott Russell Sanders, HITLER'S COUCH by Mark Slouka, WHAT'S INSIDE YOU, BROTHER? by Toure, FOLDING THE TIMES by W. S. Trow.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Atwan's annual series unfailingly delivers the highest quality writing, essays that display "literary [and] ruminative characteristics," work that shows the "mind in process." This year's editor ... Read full review

The best American essays, 1999

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

These two collections prove once again that the state of the essay in America is just fine, thank you, and in fact livelier and more diverse than ever, thank you very much. "Essays are how we speak to ... Read full review


franklin burroughs Compression Wood
michael w cox Visitor

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About the author (1999)

Widely celebrated for his essays on travel and nature, Edward Hoagland has written more than twenty books. Both fiction and nonfiction, his works include "Cat Man" (his first book, which won the 1954 Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship), "Walking the Dead Diamond River" (a 1974 National Book Award nominee), "African Calliope" (a 1980 American Book Award nominee), and "The Tugman's Passage" (a 1982 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee). He worked at the Barnum & Bailey Circus while attending Harvard in the early 1950s and later traveled around the world writing for "Harper's, National Geographic", and other magazines. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and in 1982 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hoagland was the editor of "The Best American Essays" 1999, and taught at The New School, Rutgers, Sarah Lawrence, CUNY, the University of Iowa, UC Davis, Columbia University, Beloit College, and Brown University. In 2005, he retired from a teaching position at Bennington College in Vermont. He lives in northern Vermont.

Robert Atwan is the series editor of The Best American Essays. He recently edited Divine Inspiration, a volume of world poetry on the Gospels.

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