The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular — of its kind.
The Best American Essays 2012 includes
Marcia Angell, Miah Arnold, Mark Doty, Joseph Epstein, Jonathan Franzen,
Malcolm Gladwell, Francine Prose, Lauren Slater,
Sandra Tsing Loh, Jose Antonio Vargas, and others
A creature from an alternative universe arriving in the United States in 2012 wanting to understand what is on the American mind should rush to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy of this distinguished anthology, now in its 27th year. The 24 selected by New York Times columnist Brooks arrive after publication in a wide range of journals and magazines. Highlights include Lauren Slater s Killing My Body to Save My Mind, a brave and disquieting discussion about the extreme side-effects of various psychopharmaceuticals on her body. The volume s range of styles include the sharp and coolly intellectual (Alan Lightman s The Accidental Universe ) and the acutely personal (David J. Lawless s My Father/My Husband. From Wesley Yang s fascinating exploration of racial identity, Paper Tigers, to Francine Prose s critical reminiscence of her experience during the emergence of second wave feminism in the 1970s, Other Women, there is not a dud in the bunch. As Mark Edmunson writes in one of the two essays about the plight of education, Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here? : In reading, I continue to look for one thing to be influenced, to learn something new, to be thrown off my course and onto another, better way. This year s exhilarating collection is just that reading experience.