A dazzling anthology of essays by some of the best writers of the past quarter century—from Barry Lopez and Margo Jefferson to David Sedaris and Samantha Irby—selected by acclaimed essayist Phillip Lopate.
The first decades of the twenty-first century have witnessed a blossoming of creative nonfiction. In this extraordinary collection, Phillip Lopate gathers essays by forty-seven of America’s best contemporary writers, mingling long-established eminences with newer voices and making room for a wide variety of perspectives and styles. The Contemporary American Essay is a monument to a remarkably adaptable form and a treat for anyone who loves fantastic writing.
Hilton Als • Nicholson Baker • Thomas Beller • Sven Birkerts • Eula Biss • Mary Cappello • Anne Carson • Terry Castle • Alexander Chee • Teju Cole • Bernard Cooper • Sloane Crosley • Charles D’Ambrosio • Meghan Daum • Brian Doyle • Geoff Dyer • Lina Ferreira • Lynn Freed • Rivka Galchen • Ross Gay • Louise Glück • Emily Fox Gordon • Patricia Hampl • Aleksandar Hemon • Samantha Irby • Leslie Jamison • Margo Jefferson • Laura Kipnis • David Lazar • Yiyun Li • Phillip Lopate • Barry Lopez • Thomas Lynch • John McPhee • Ander Monson • Eileen Myles • Maggie Nelson • Meghan O’Gieblyn • Joyce Carol Oates • Darryl Pinckney • Lia Purpura • Karen Russell • David Sedaris • Shifra Sharlin • David Shields • Floyd Skloot • Rebecca Solnit • Clifford Thompson • Wesley Yang
An Anchor Original.
About the Author
PHILLIP LOPATE is the author of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction and four essay collections, Bachelorhood, Against Joie de Vivre, Portrait of My Body, and Portrait Inside My Head. He is the editor of the anthologies The Glorious American Essay, The Golden Age of the American Essay, The Art of the Personal Essay, Writing New York, and American Movie Critics. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and two New York Foundation for the Arts grants. He is a professor of writing at Columbia University's nonfiction MFA program and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“What’s marvelous is the way Lopate’s anthologies . . . manage to be not only comprehensive monuments of deep expertise, but such continuously fresh and thrilling reading companions.” —Jonathan Lethem, author of The Feral Detective
“Phillip Lopate is one of the most brilliant and original essayists now working.” —Louise Glück, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature