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The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very 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 2005 includes Roger Angell, Andrea Barrett, Jonathan Franzen, Ian Frazier, Edward Hoagland, Ted Kooser bull; Jonathan Lethem bull; Danielle Ofri, Oliver Sacks, Cathleen Schine, David Sedaris, Robert Stone, David Foster Wallace, and others Susan Orlean, guest editor, is the author of My Kind of Place, The Orchid Thief, The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup, and Saturday Night. A staff writer for The New Yorker since 1982, she has also written for Outside, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Vogue.
The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very 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 2005 includes Roger Angell; Andrea Barrett; Jonathan Franzen; Ian Frazier; Edward Hoagland; Ted Kooser; Jonathan Lethem; Danielle Ofri; Oliver Sacks; Cathleen Schine; David Sedaris; Robert Stone; David Foster Wallace; and others. Susan Orlean, guest editor, is the author of My Kind of Place, The Orchid Thief, The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup, and Saturday Night. A staff writer for The New Yorker since 1982, she has also written for Outside, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Vogue.
"Travel is not about finding something. It's about getting lost -- that is, it is about losing yourself in a place and a moment. The little things that tether you to what's familiar are gone, and you become a conduit through which the sensation of the place is felt." The twenty pieces in this year's collection showcase the best travel writing from 2006. George Saunders travels to India to witness firsthand a fifteen-year-old boy who has been meditating motionless under a tree for months without food or water, and who many followers believe is the reincarnation of the Buddha. Matthew Power reveals trickle-down economics at work in a Philippine garbage dump. Jason Anthony describes the challenges of everyday life in Vostok, the coldest place on earth, where temperatures dip as low as -129 degrees and where, in midsummer, -20 degrees is considered a heat wave. David Halberstam, in one of his last published essays, recalls how an inauspicious Saigon restaurant changed the way he and other reporters in Vietnam saw the world. Ian Frazier analyzes why we get sick when traveling in out-of-the-way places. And Kevin Fedarko embarks on a drug-fueled journey in Djibouti, chewing psychotropic foliage in "the worst place on earth." Closer to home, Steve Friedman profiles a 410-pound man who set out to walk cross-country to lose weight and find happiness. Rick Bass chases the elusive concept of the West in America, and Jonathan Stern takes a hilarious Lonely Planet approach to his small Manhattan apartment.
The bestselling author of The Orchid Thief is back with this delightfully entertaining collection of her best and brightest profiles. Acclaimed New Yorker writer Susan Orlean brings her wry sensibility, exuberant voice, and peculiar curiosities to a fascinating range of subjects--from the well known (Bill Blass) to the unknown (a typical ten-year-old boy) to the formerly known (the 1960s girl group the Shaggs). Passionate people. Famous people. Short people. And one championship show dog named Biff, who from a certain angle looks a lot like Bill Clinton. Orlean transports us into the lives of eccentric and extraordinary characters--like Cristina Sánchez, the eponymous bullfighter, the first female matador of Spain--and writes with such insight and candor that readers will feel as if they've met each and every one of them. The result is a luminous and joyful tour of the human condition as seen through the eyes of the writer heralded by the Chicago Tribune as a "journalist dynamo. "
Susan Orlean has been called "a national treasure" by The Washington Post and "a kind of latter-day Tocqueville" by The New York Times Book Review. In addition to having written classic articles for The New Yorker, she was played, with some creative liberties, by Meryl Streep in her Golden Globe Award-winning performance in the film Adaptation. Now, in My Kind of Place, the real Susan Orlean takes readers on a series of remarkable journeys in this uniquely witty, sophisticated, and far-flung travel book.
In Susan Orlean's mesmerizing true story of beauty and obsession is John Laroche, a renegade plant dealer and sharply handsome guy, in spite of the fact that he is missing his front teeth and has the posture of al dente spaghetti. In 1994, Laroche and three Seminole Indians were arrested with rare orchids they had stolen from a wild swamp in south Florida that is filled with some of the world's most extraordinary plants and trees. Laroche had planned to clone the orchids and then sell them for a small fortune to impassioned collectors. After he was caught in the act, Laroche set off one of the oddest legal controversies in recent memory, which brought together environmentalists, Native Amer-ican activists, and devoted orchid collectors. The result is a tale that is strange, compelling, and hilarious. New Yorker writer Susan Orlean followed Laroche through swamps and into the eccentric world of Florida's orchid collectors, a subculture of aristocrats, fanatics, and smugglers whose obsession with plants is all-consuming. Along the way, Orlean learned the history of orchid collecting, discovered an odd pattern of plant crimes in Florida, and spent time with Laroche's partners, a tribe of Seminole Indians who are still at war with the United States. There is something fascinating or funny or truly bizarre on every page of The Orchid Thief: the story of how the head of a famous Seminole chief came to be displayed in the front window of a local pharmacy; or how seven hundred iguanas were smuggled into Florida; or the case of the only known extraterrestrial plant crime. Ultimately, however, Susan Orlean's book is about passion itself, and the amazing lengths to which people will go to gratify it. That passion is captured with singular vision in The Orchid Thief, a once-in-a-lifetime story by one of our most original journalists.
He believed the dog was immortal. So begins Susan Orlean's sweeping, powerfully moving account of Rin Tin Tin's journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. Orlean, a staff writer at The New Yorker who has been hailed as "a national treasure" by The Washington Post, spent nearly ten years researching and reporting her most captivating book to date: the story of a dog who was born in 1918 and never died. It begins on a battlefield in France during World War I, when a young American soldier, Lee Duncan, discovered a newborn German shepherd in the ruins of a bombed-out dog kennel. To Duncan, who came of age in an orphanage, the dog's survival was a miracle. He saw something in Rin Tin Tin that he felt compelled to share with the world. Duncan brought Rinty home to California, where the dog's athleticism and acting ability drew the attention of Warner Bros. Over the next ten years, Rinty starred in twenty-three blockbuster silent films that saved the studio from bankruptcy and made him the most famous dog in the world. At the height of his popularity, Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood's number one box office star. During the decades that followed, Rinty and his descendants rose and fell with the times, making a tumultuous journey from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to color, from radio programs to one of the most popular television shows of the baby boom era, The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin. The canine hero's legacy was cemented by Duncan and a small group of others--including Bert Leonard, the producer of the TV series, and Daphne Hereford, the owner of the current Rin Tin Tin--who have dedicated their lives to making sure the dog's legend will never die. At its core, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. It is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship. It spans ninety years and explores everything from the shift in status of dogs from working farmhands to beloved family members, from the birth of obedience training to the evolution of dog breeding, from the rise of Hollywood to the past and present of dogs in war. Filled with humor and heart and moments that will move you to tears, Susan Orlean's first original book since The Orchid Thief is an irresistible blend of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling--a dazzling celebration of a great American dog by one of our most gifted writers.
Twenty years ago, before she wrote The Orchid Thief or was hailed as "a national treasure" by The Washington Post, Susan Orlean was a journalist with a question: What makes Saturday night so special? To answer it, she embarked on a remarkable journey across the country and spent the evening with all sorts of people in all sorts of places--hipsters in Los Angeles, car cruisers in small-town Indiana, coeds in Boston, the homeless in New York, a lounge band in Portland, quinceañera revelers in Phoenix, and more--to chronicle the one night of the week when we do the things we want to do rather than the things we need to do. The result is an irresistible portrait of how Saturday night in America is lived that remains.
First published in 1920, This Side of Paradise marks the beginning of the career of one of the greatest writers of the first half of the twentieth century. In this remarkable achievement, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays his unparalleled wit and keen social insight in his portrayal of college life through the struggles and doubts of Amory Blaine, a self-proclaimed genius with a love of knowledge and a penchant for the romantic. As Amory journeys into adulthood and leaves the aristocratic egotism of his youth behind, he becomes painfully aware of his lost innocence and the new sense of responsibility and regret that has taken its place. Clever and wonderfully written, This Side of Paradise is a fascinating novel about the changes of the Jazz Age and their effects on the individual. It is a complex portrait of a versatile mind in a restless generation that reveals rich ideas crucial to an understanding of the 1920s and timeless truths about the human need for--and fear of--change. "A very enlivening book indeed, a book really brilliant and glamorous, making as agreeable reading as could be asked . . . There are clever things, keen and searching things, amusingly young and mistaken things, beautiful things and pretty things . . . and truly inspired and elevated things, an astonishing abundance of each, in THIS SIDE OF PARADISE. You could call it the youthful Byronism that is normal in a man of the author's type, working out through a well-furnished intellect of unusual critical force."--The Evening Post, 1920"An astonishing and refreshing book . . . Mr. Fitzgerald has recorded with a good deal of felicity and a disarming frankness the adventures and developments of a curious and fortunate American youth. . . . [It is] delightful and encouraging to find a novel which gives us in the accurate terms of intellectual honesty a reflection of American undergraduate life. At last the revelation has come. We have the constant young American occupation--the 'petting party'--frankly and humorously in our literature."--The New Republic, 1920From the Paperback edition.
Cooper Gillespie, an extremely intelligent and handsome Welsh springer spaniel, is a dog of discriminating taste and strong opinions. Now Cooper, with the assistance of cookbook author Sally Sampson and the transcription services of his favorite human, Susan Orlean, has put together 50 delectable recipes for snacks, meals, and treats for your canine companion. Maybe you're cooking everything because your collie has colitis or your Akita has a wheat allergy or your older dog just isn't thriving on commercial kibble. Maybe you're mixing up the occasional biscuit or treat to help your best fur-bearing friend over that I-just-ate-a-tennis- ball-and-don't-feel-so-good episode. Whatever the reason, the recipes in this book (which have been approved by dog trainer and nutritional consultant Stacy Alldredge) will satisfy the most discerning doggie palate. Many of them, in fact, can be shared with a favorite human (though preferably not from the same dish). Illustrated with more than 50 endearing black-and-white photographs of Cooper and friends by Cami Johnson, and liberally seasoned with stories, quotes, and nutrition tips, Throw Me a Bone makes a dog's dinner something to look forward to.
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