This is the second year we've put this book together, and we're beginning to have some idea of what were doing. But do we know exactly what this book is? We do not. The original purpose of the collection was to introduce younger readers--high school and college-age people, more or less--to good writing from contemporary writers. But then the book came out and we discovered that the readership was not what we'd expected. Sure, there were some high school and college readers, but there were also older readers, and younger readers, and readers from every walk of life-police officers, firefighters, animal control experts, air-conditioning repair technicians, and prisoners. It runs the gamut. Now, your questions answered: What is the purpose of this book? - The purpose of this book is to collect good work of any kind-fiction, humor, essays, comics, journalism-in one place, for the English-reading consumer. The other books in the Best American series are limited by their categories, most particularly the popular but constraining Best American Catholic Badger Mystery Writing. This collection is not so limited, which is why, we think, it dominates all similar collections, making them whimper and cower in a way that is shameful. Why aren't there more pieces about badgers? -Reginald, Myrtle Beach, We had plans to include at least seven pieces about badgers-their manufacture, appearance, and care-but were prevented from doing so by Zadie Smith. This was a condition of her inclusion in this volume.In addition to the pieces included in the collection, and Ms. Smiths introduction-or whatever it is-will there be a piece by the editor about a young man with a crush on a sixty-five-year-old woman whose lawn he cuts? -Peter and Nam Mee, Washington, DC We might have such a piece. It might be immediately following this sentence.(From the Foreword by Dave Eggers) Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, the very best pieces are selected by an editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field, making the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind. Dave Eggers, who will be editing The Best American Nonrequired Reading annually, has once again chosen the best and least-expected fiction, nonfiction, satire, investigative reporting, alternative comics, and more from publications large, small, and on-line--The Onion, The New Yorker, Shout, Time, Zoetrope, Tin House, Nerve.com,and McSweeney's, to name just a few.
The purpose of this book is to collect good work of any kind -- fiction, humor, essays, comics, journalism -- in one place, for the English-reading consumer.
The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. For each volume, the very best pieces are selected by a leading writer in the field, making the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005 includes pieces by Daniel Alaron, Aimee Bender, Dan Chaon, Daniel Clowes, Tish Durkin, Stephen Elliott, Al Franken, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Anders Nilsen, Georges Saunders, William T. Vollmann and others.
From Dave Eggers:For this year's edition of The Best American Nonrequired Reading, we wanted to expand the scope of the book to include shorter pieces, and fragments of stories, and transcripts, screenplays, television scripts -- lots of things that we hadn't included before. Our publisher readily agreed, and so you'll see that this year's edition is far more eclectic in form than previous editions. Along the way to making the book, we also came across a variety of things that didn't fit neatly anywhere, but which we felt should be included, so we conceived the front section, which is a loose Best American roundup of notable words and sentences from 2005. It is, like this book in general, obviously and completely incomplete, but might be interesting nevertheless.
A selection of the best writing, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and comics, published in American periodicals during 2006.
This brilliant collection highlights a bold mix of fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, television writing, and more alternative comics than ever. Compiled by Dave Eggers and students from his San Francisco writing center, contributors include Judy Budnitz, "The Onion, The Daily Show, This American Life," and George Packer.
A selection of the best writing, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and comics, published in American periodicals during 2008, aimed at readers 15 and up.
The Best American Series®First, Best, and Best-SellingThe Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, the very best pieces are selected by a leading writer in the field, making the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011 includesDaniel Alarcón, Clare Beams, Sloane Crosley, Anthony Doerr, Neil Gaiman, Mohammed Hanif, Mac McClelland, Michael Paterniti, Olivier Schrauwen,Gary Shteyngart, and others
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 Nonrequired Reading 2012 includes Kevin Brockmeier, Judy Budnitz, Junot Díaz, Louise Erdrich, Nora Krug, Julie Otsuka, Eric Puchner, George Saunders, Adrian Tomine, Jess Walter, and others
Dave Eggers and his students at the 826 Valencia and 826 Michigan writing labs compile fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and comics, as well as category-defying gems that have become one of the hallmarks of this lively collection.
The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, bestselling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award. When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can't believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.From the Hardcover edition.
Now more than ever, Americans are troubled by questions. As sweaty modernity thrusts itself upon us, the veil of ignorance that cloaked our nation hangs in tatters, tattered tatters. Our "funny bones" are neither fun nor bony. Glum is the new giddy, and the old giddy wasn't too giddy to begin with. What can be done to stop this relentless march of drabbery? Nothing. But perhaps this book can be used to dull the pain. Included herein: The Ten Worst Films of All Time, as Reviewed by Ezra Pound over Italian Radio Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002, forThe Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the RingDVD (Platinum Series Extended Edition), Part One. How Important Moments in My Life Would Have Been Different If I Was Shot in the Stomach My Beard, Reviewed Circumstances under Which I Would Have Sex with Some of My Fellow Jurors Words That Would Make Nice Names for Babies, If It Weren't for Their Unsuitable Meanings As a Porn Movie Titler, I May Lack Promise Ineffective Ways to Subdue a Jaguar Eleven Lunch Meats I Have Invented Four Things I Would Have Said to Sylvia Plath if I Had Been Her Boyfriend And much, much more, including 20 brilliant new lists . . .
Norman Mailer's Pulitzer Prize-winning and unforgettable classic about convicted killer Gary Gilmore now in a brand-new edition.Arguably the greatest book from America's most heroically ambitious writer, THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG follows the short, blighted life of Gary Gilmore who became famous after he robbed two men in 1976 and killed them in cold blood. After being tried and convicted, he immediately insisted on being executed for his crime. To do so, he fought a system that seemed intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death. And that fight for the right to die is what made him famous.Mailer tells not only Gilmore's story, but those of the men and women caught in the web of his life and drawn into his procession toward the firing squad. All with implacable authority, steely compassion, and a restraint that evokes the parched landscape and stern theology of Gilmore's Utah. THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG is a trip down the wrong side of the tracks to the deepest source of American loneliness and violence. It is a towering achievement-impossible to put down, impossible to forget.
The literary sensation of the year, a book that redefines both family and narrative for the twenty-first century. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. Here is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is an instant classic that will be read in paperback for decades to come.
In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy's gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment - and a moving story of how we got here.
In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy's gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment -- and a moving story of how we got here.
"Another" "What It Means When a Crowd in a Faraway Nation Takes a Soldier Representing Your Own Nation, Shoots Him, Drags Him from His Vehicle and Then Mutilates Him in the Dust" "The Only Meaning of the Oil-Wet Water" "On Wanting to Have Three Walls Up Before She Gets Home" "Climbing to the Window, Pretending to Dance" "She Waits, Seething, Blooming" "Quiet" "Your Mother and I" "Naveed" "Notes for a Story of a Man Who Will Not Die Alone" "About the Man Who Began Flying After Meeting Her" "Up the Mountain Coming Down Slowly" "After I Was Thrown in the River and Before I Drowned" From the Trade Paperback edition.
In thirteen electrifying stories, our very first all-Latin-American issue takes on the crime story as a starting point, and expands to explore contemporary life from every angle-swinging from secret Venezuelan prisons to Uruguayan resorts to blood-drenched bedrooms in Mexico and Peru, and even, briefly, to Epcot Center and the Havana home of a Cuban transsexual named Amy Winehouse. Featuring contemporary writers from ten different countries-including Alejandro Zambra, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Andres Ressia Colino, Mariana Enriquez, and many more-McSweeney's 46 offers an essential cross-section of the troubles and temptations confronting the region today. It's crucial reading for anyone interested in the shifting topography of Latin American literature and Latin American life, and a collection of writing to rival anything we've assembled in years.
Since its initial publication and multiple reprints in hardcover in 2005, Teachers Have It Easy has attracted the attention of teachers nationwide, appearing on the New York Times extended bestseller list, C-SPAN, and NPR's Marketplace, in addition to receiving strong reviews nationwide. Now available for the first time in paperback, this groundbreaking book examines how bad policy makes teachers' lives miserable.Many teachers today must work two or more jobs to survive; they cannot afford to buy homes or raise families. Interweaving teachers' voices from across the country with hard-hitting facts and figures, this book is a clear-eyed view of the harsh realities of public school teaching, without chicken-soup-for-the-soul success stories.With a look at the problems of recruitment and retention, the myths of short workdays and endless summer vacations, the realities of the work week, and shocking examples of how society views America's teachers, Teachers Have It Easy explores the best ways to improve public education and transform our schools.
For ten years, Voice of Witness has illuminated contemporary human rights crises through its remarkable oral history book series. Founded by Dave Eggers, Lola Vollen and Mimi Lok, Voice of Witness has amplified the stories of hundreds of people impacted by some of the most crucial human rights crises of our time, including men and women living under oppressive regimes in Burma, Colombia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe; public housing residents and undocumented workers in the United States; and exploited workers around the globe. This selection of narratives from these remarkable men and women is many things: an astonishing record of human rights issues in the 21st century; a testament to the resilience and courage of the most marginalized among us; and an opportunity to better the understand the world we live in through human connection and a participatory vision of history.
In a heartrending and astonishing novel, Eggers illuminates the history of the civil war in Sudan through the eyes of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee now living in the United States. We follow his life as he's driven from his home as a boy and walks, with thousands of orphans, to Ethiopia, where he finds safety -- for a time. Valentino's travels, truly Biblical in scope, bring him in contact with government soldiers, janjaweed-like militias, liberation rebels, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation -- and a string of unexpected romances. Ultimately, Valentino finds safety in Kenya and, just after the millennium, is finally resettled in the United States, from where this novel is narrated. In this book, written with expansive humanity and surprising humor, we come to understand the nature of the conflicts in Sudan, the refugee experience in America, the dreams of the Dinka people, and the challenge one indomitable man faces in a world collapsing around him.
What Is the What is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other children--the so-called Lost Boys--was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom. When he finally is resettled in the United States, he finds a life full of promise, but also heartache and myriad new challenges. Moving, suspenseful, and unexpectedly funny, What Is the What is an astonishing novel that illuminates the lives of millions through one extraordinary man.
Special edition housed in a beautiful slipcase. Seven-year-old Max likes to make noise, get dirty, ride his bike without a helmet and howl like a wolf. In any other era, he would be considered a boy. In 2007, he is considered willful and deranged. His home life is problematic. His parents are divorced; his father, immature and romantic, lives in the city. His mother has taken up with a younger man who steals quarters from the change bowl in the foyer. Driven by a series of pressures internal and external, Max leaves home, jumps in a boat and sails across the ocean to a strange island where giant beasts reign - the Wild Things from Maurice Sendak's visionary classic. This is an all-ages adventure, full of wit and soul, that explores the chaos of youth while Max explores the chaos of the world around him. The live-action film, co-written by Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers, and directed by Jonze, is due this autumn.
In his first novel, Dave Eggers has written a moving and hilarious tale of two friends who fly around the world trying to give away a lot of money and free themselves from a profound loss. It reminds us once again what an important, necessary talent Dave Eggers is.
From Dave Eggers, best-selling author of The Circle, a tightly controlled, emotionally searching novel. Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is the formally daring, brilliantly executed story of one man struggling to make sense of his country, seeking answers the only way he knows how. In a barracks on an abandoned military base, miles from the nearest road, Thomas watches as the man he has brought wakes up. Kev, a NASA astronaut, doesn't recognize his captor, though Thomas remembers him. Kev cries for help. He pulls at his chain. But the ocean is close by, and nobody can hear him over the waves and wind. Thomas apologizes. He didn't want to have to resort to this. But they really needed to have a conversation, and Kev didn't answer his messages. And now, if Kev can just stop yelling, Thomas has a few questions.
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