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The Best American Essays of the Century (2000)

by Joyce Carol Oates (Editor, Contributor & Introduction), Robert Atwan (Editor & Foreword)

Other authors: Henry Adams (Contributor), Jane Addams (Contributor), James Agee (Contributor), Maya Angelou (Contributor), James Baldwin (Contributor)55 more, Saul Bellow (Contributor), Randolph Bourne (Contributor), Rachel Carson (Contributor), John Jay Chapman (Contributor), Joan Didion (Contributor), Annie Dillard (Contributor), W.E.B. Du Bois (Contributor), Gerald Early (Contributor), Gretel Ehrlich (Contributor), Loren Eiseley (Contributor), T. S. Eliot (Contributor), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Contributor), Robert Frost (Contributor), William H. Gass (Contributor), Stephen Jay Gould (Contributor), Donald Hall (Contributor), Elizabeth Hardwick (Contributor), Ernest Hemingway (Contributor), Michael Herr (Contributor), Edward Hoagland (Contributor), Langston Hughes (Contributor), Zora Neale Hurston (Contributor), William James (Contributor), Garrison Keillor (Contributor), Martin Luther King, Jr. (Contributor), Maxine Hong Kingston (Contributor), Peter Kovner (Contributor), Jon Krakauer (Contributor), William Manchester (Contributor), Mary McCarthy (Contributor), John McPhee (Contributor), H.L. Mencken (Contributor), Christopher Moisan (Cover designer), N. Scott Momaday (Contributor), John Muir (Contributor), Vladimir Nabokov (Contributor), Kathleen Norris (Contributor), Robert Overholtzer (Designer), Cynthia Ozick (Contributor), S.J. Perelman (Contributor), Katherine Anne Porter (Contributor), Adrienne Rich (Contributor), Richard Rodriguez (Contributor), Susan Sontag (Contributor), Gertrude Stein (Contributor), Lewis Thomas (Contributor), James Thurber (Contributor), Mark Twain (Contributor), John Updike (Contributor), Alice Walker (Contributor), Eudora Welty (Contributor), E.B. White (Contributor), Edmund Wilson (Contributor), Tom Wolfe (Contributor), Richard Wright (Contributor)

Series: The Best American Essays (20th Century), Best American (20th Century)

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759428,273 (3.88)9
Fifty five unforgettable essays by the finest American writers of the twentieth century.

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
Best American Essays of the Century wraps up the creme de la creme of essay writing from 1901 - 1997. Beginning with Mark Twain ("Corn-pone Opinions") and ending with Saul Bellow ("Graven Images.") ( )
1 vote SeriousGrace | Apr 9, 2009 |
What makes this collection the best of essays is that Oates takes care to identify those essays that speak to the historical, political, and personal experience of America in the 20th century. In this collection you'll find Eliot, Hurston, Fitzgerald, McCarthy, Baldwin, King, Kingston, Didion, Nabokov, Updike, Bellow, Rich and more. She shys away from nothing. I could find nothing missing. There are books that we buy and gobble up and there are those that we savour. You'll do both with this collection. I always have it close at hand. When I need to be reminded of how an essay reads in a masters voice, I pick up Oates' collection. ( )
1 vote AnitaDTaylor | Oct 28, 2007 |
Also not read in its entirety, but ongoing inspiration. ( )
  davidbain | May 4, 2006 |
What I read was certainly good. I dunno about "best of the century" though, really... ( )
  bluedream |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (68 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oates, Joyce CarolEditor, Contributor & Introductionprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Atwan, RobertEditor & Forewordmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Addams, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agee, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Angelou, MayaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baldwin, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bellow, SaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bourne, RandolphContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carson, RachelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chapman, John JayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Didion, JoanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillard, AnnieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Du Bois, W.E.B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Early, GeraldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ehrlich, GretelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eiseley, LorenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eliot, T. S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, F. ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frost, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gass, William H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gould, Stephen JayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hall, DonaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hardwick, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hemingway, ErnestContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herr, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoagland, EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hughes, LangstonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hurston, Zora NealeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
James, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keillor, GarrisonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, Martin Luther, Jr.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kingston, Maxine HongContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kovner, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Krakauer, JonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Manchester, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, MaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McPhee, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mencken, H.L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moisan, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Momaday, N. ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muir, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nabokov, VladimirContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Norris, KathleenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Overholtzer, RobertDesignersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ozick, CynthiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perelman, S.J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, Katherine AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rich, AdrienneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rodriguez, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sontag, SusanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stein, GertrudeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomas, LewisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thurber, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Twain, MarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Updike, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walker, AliceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Welty, EudoraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, E.B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, EdmundContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wright, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Fifty years ago, when I was a boy of fifteen and helping to inhabit a Missourian village on the banks of the Mississippi, I had a friend whose society was very dear to me because I was forbidden by my mother to partake of it.
Here is a history of America told in many voices.

--Introduction, "The Art of the (American) Essay"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fifty five unforgettable essays by the finest American writers of the twentieth century.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Anthology contains:
  • Foreword / by Robert Atwan
  • Introduction / by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Corn-pone opinions / Mark Twain
  • Of the coming of John / W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Law of acceleration / Henry Adams
  • Stickeen / John Muir
  • Moral equivalent of war / William James
  • Handicapped / Randolph Bourne
  • Coatesville / John Jay Chapman
  • Devil baby at Hull-house / Jane Addams
  • Tradition and the individual talent / T.S. Eliot
  • Pamplona in July / Ernest Hemingway
  • Hills of Zion / H.L. Mencken
  • How it feels to be colored me / Zora Neale Hurston
  • Old stone house / Edmund Wilson
  • What are master-pieces and why are there so few of them / Gertrude Stein
  • Crack-up / F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Sex Ex Machina / James Thurber
  • Ethics of living Jim Crow: an autobiographical sketch / Richard Wright
  • Knoxville: Summer of 1915 / James Agee
  • Figure a poem makes / Robert Frost
  • Once more to the lake / E.B. White
  • Insert flap "A" and throw away / S.J. Perelman
  • Bop / Langston Hughes
  • Future is now / Katherine Anne Porter
  • Artists in uniform / Mary McCarthy
  • Marginal world / Rachel Carson
  • Notes of a native son / James Baldwin
  • Brown wasps / Loren Eiseley
  • Sweet devouring / Eudora Welty
  • Hundred thousand straightened nails / Donald Hall
  • Letter from Birmingham jail / Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Putting daddy on / Tom Wolfe
  • Notes on "Camp" / Susan Sontag
  • Perfect past / Vladimir Nabokov
  • Way to Rainy Mountain / N. Scott Momaday
  • Apotheosis of Martin Luther King / Elizabeth Hardwick
  • Illumination rounds / Michael Herr
  • I know why the caged bird sings / Maya Angelou
  • Lives of a cell / Lewis Thomas
  • Search for Marvin Gardens / John McPhee
  • Doomed in their sinking / William H. Gass
  • No name woman / Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Looking for Zora / Alice Walker
  • Women and honor: some notes on lying / Adrienne Rich
  • White album / Joan Didion
  • Aria: a memoir of a bilingual childhood / Richard Rodriguez
  • Solace of open spaces / Gretel Ehrlich
  • Total eclipse / Annie Dillard
  • Drugstore in winter / Cynthia Ozick
  • Okinawa: the bloodiest battle of all / William Manchester
  • Heaven and nature / Edward Hoagland
  • Creation myths of Cooperstown / Stephen Jay Gould
  • Life with daughters: watching the miss America Pageant / Gerald Early
  • Disposable rocket / John Updike
  • They all just went away / Joyce Carol Oates
  • Graven images / Saul Bellow
  • Biographical notes
  • Appendix: Notable twentieth-century American literary nonfiction
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