Chesbro is editorial assistant at Welcome Table Press. In the Best American Essays Series from through , the numbers look dire across the board. There was only one year in twenty-five that the number of works by women published in the anthology outnumbered the works by men.
It seems that even during those years that women were guest editors, female nonfictionists were poorly represented.
The one exception seems to be the year Joyce Carol Oates made the picks. The folks at Essay Daily have been nice enough to post the table of contents of Best American Essays for those of us still waiting for our copies to arrive.
So here goes:. In our effort to seem young and jazzy, the Brevity editorial team hangs out on Facebook way too much.
We like her enthusiasm as a reader and a teacher toward the BAE series, so we asked Karen if we could post her Facebook review to Brevity as a bonus between-issues book review, and we did, and we hope to spark some discussion here. If you want to comment, go ahead and comment here, or if you have your own review of BAE , send it to us for the blog.
What is this? But I sat down on the couch with it and my highlighter and did what I always do: I flip to the back and check out the Notables, because this is where I think the neat stuff is happening. I highlight people I know or magazines I really like. My highlight was back in , when my brother-in-all-but-blood Matt had an essay in the Notables.
This time around, there were quite a few names I recognized and that thrills me as much as anything else about my BAE.
I thought that reading forty best essays of all time would bring me closer essay inspiration, you may want to grab the “Best American Essays”. This singular collection is nothing less than a political, spiritual, and intensely personal record of America's tumultuous modern age, as experienced by our.
But reading nonfiction essays online is a quick way to learn which authors you like. Also, reading nonfiction essays can help you learn more about different topics and experiences.
But there are great nonfiction essays available for free all over the Internet. From contemporary to classic writers and personal essays to researched ones—here are 25 of my favorite nonfiction essays you can read today. A year-old woman discusses her shifting attitude towards death from her childhood in the s when death was a taboo subject, to World War 2 until the present day.
There are many moving and important essays by James Baldwin. This one uses the lens of religion to explore the Black American experience and sexuality. Baldwin describes his move from being a teenage preacher to not believing in god. Then he recounts his meeting with the prominent Nation of Islam member Elijah Muhammad.
Biss uses the story of a white woman giving birth to a Black baby that was mistakenly implanted during a fertility treatment to explore racial identities and segregation in society as a whole and in her own interracial family. It gave my work a national audience before I published a book. While the overall number of women represented in The Best American Essays remains at 31 percent for the life of the series to date, some progress has been made since the VIDA Count.
In , for example, the year Edwidge Danticat served as guest editor, the volume featured thirteen essays by women and eleven essays by men, the first time in twenty years and not repeated since that women accounted for the majority of essays in a Best American Essays volume.
In , with David Brooks as guest editor, the percentage dropped back to 25 percent. In the last few years, it has risen from there: 38 percent in Strayed , 48 percent in John Jeremiah Sullivan , 41 percent in Ariel Levy. One of the challenges to better representing, promoting, and celebrating women essayists can likely be found elsewhere in VIDA data, which specifically tracks gender equity in many of the publications that frequently feed material to Best American Essays.
At The New Yorker , women accounted for 34 percent of bylines in It is important to note here that a number of smaller publications that frequently contribute work to The Best American Essays series fare much better in terms of including work by women, among them, the Gettysburg Review and Granta.
The fact of the matter remains, though, in a literary publishing world still largely dominated by male voices, especially in these so-called top tier publications, anthology editors must work harder to tell a more accurate history of the essay: Women write essays; they write best essays. There has been much talk in the last couple of years about women essayists finally coming into their own, or at least being recognized and appreciated for their work.
Essayists who happen to be women are having a banner year. A generation might prove itself worthy of those predecessors who opened the genre to women by opening it to more people, women and men, black and white, gay or straight The Best American Essays series has an important hand in this welcome project, if not the most important hand of all the hands on the contemporary essay right now.
As Strayed notes, Best American Essays counts because it counts.
Its influence is undeniable—and deservedly so. She is currently completing an anthology of women essayists from to Karen Babine Interview with Robert Atwan 3. Lynn Z. Return to 3. Return to conversations.