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The Best American Essays 1993 Hardcover – November 22, 1993


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Product Details

  • Series: Best American Essays
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1ST edition (November 22, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395636493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395636497
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,134,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The essay continues to be a vibrant and outrageously varied mode of expression, as evinced in this involving addition to the Best American Essays series, guest-edited by American Scholar editor Epstein. Philip Weiss is obsessed with the viability of extricating himself from a locked car trunk; critiquing Oliver Stone's film JFK and supporting the findings of the Warren Commission, Jacob Cohen brings proof that the President was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was acting alone. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison discovers that she loves to hate public television's Frugal Gourmet, who embodies for her the absurdities of the Politically Correct culture; and Jean Ervin relates how in 1945 she, a young woman of 20, learned a lesson in loosening up from an "old maid" relation. Caught between daughters who find his race lessons tiresome and college students who think him insufficiently black, Gerald Early ponders a contradictory Malcolm X whose Afrocentrism, Early concludes, is classically American; and black corporate lawyer Lawrence Otis Graham disguises himself as a busboy to expose the bigotry of a Connecticut country club. Discussing the career of a "minor" writer, Cynthia Ozick introduces readers to her former rival, Alfred Chester, who broke with Ozick after she insisted that he was not "naturally" homosexual.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Epstein, the editor of this year's anthology, has the reputation of being "a conglomerate man of letters" and has won praise for his own essays. In Epstein's view, the essay depends on the force of its style and "the strong personal presence" of its author. Epstein's views are reflected in this year's selection of 22 essays by such authors as Cynthia Ozick, James Salter, and Lewis Thomas. Whether the essayist is addressing a major social issue, like race relations, or a pet peeve, like the Frugal Gourmet and his television show, readers will feel themselves swept into the author's world to experience a subject the writer truly cares about. The introductions by Epstein and series editor Robert Atwan put the essays in historical perspective and set the tone for the collection. Of interest to public and academic libraries.
- Nancy Shires, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, N.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Sibley VINE VOICE on August 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the essay the writer seeks to discover himself. Montaigne invented the form. The children's table of the title of this review is to distinguish the essay, a form rather in the shadows, from the short story and the novel.

Epstein's selection of essayists is clever, Anthony Burgess and Joseph Brodsky. Burgess remarks that the perfection of Mozart brings denigration of his personality. Burgess began as a composer and in middle age turned to writing. Writers have been reviled for overproduction also.

Jacob Cohen relates the multiple gun theories of the JFK assassination are baseless. Two people saw Oswald's rifle as it fired and two people identified Oswald. Twelve eye witnesses identified Oswald as Officer Tippit's assailant.

Gerald Early posits he has disappointed his students because he never led a protest march. He believes Malcolm X can be considered the center of Afro-centrism. Malcolm X asserted blackness as a matter of honor. Like Martin Luther King he was not an original thinker. Gerald Early's daughters find his race lessons tiresome. Malcolm X was guilty of rigid and false thinking about identity.

Joseph Epstein chose essays about people of the margins. Sometimes people are in occupations that are in transition. Barbara Grizutti Harrison doesn't like the Frugal Gourmet. Ward Just is one of the selections. He writes of a journey to Europe for an extended stay. The destination was Paris. Four books in five years were published. Just found that he couldn't write in New England, summer places.

Paul R. McHugh writes on psychiatric delusions, major psychiatric misdirections. The subject of Cynthia Ozick's piece is Alfred Chester. He died young, age forty-two. Ozick and Chester were in the same college English class.
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