The Contemporary American Essay

Phillip Lopate


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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.


Out of stock

ISBN – 9780525567325
Publication Date – 03/08/2021
Categories – Essays

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Phillip Lopate
The Golden Age of the American Essay 1945-1970

A one-of-a-kind anthology of American essays on a wide range of subjects by a dazzling array of mid-century writers at the top of their form. AN ANCHOR ORIGINAL.

A one-of-a-kind anthology of American essays on a wide range of subjects by a dazzling array of mid-century writers at the top of their form.

The three decades that followed World War II were an exceptionally fertile period for American essays. The explosion of journals and magazines, the rise of public intellectuals, and breakthroughs in the arts inspired a flowering of literary culture. At the same time, the many problems that confronted mid-century America–racism, sexism, nuclear threat, war, poverty, and environmental degradation among them–proved fruitful topics for America’s best minds. In The Golden Age of the American Essay, Phillip Lopate assembles a dazzling array of famous writers, critics, sociologists, theologians, historians, activists, theorists, humorists, poets, and novelists. Here are writers like James Agee, E. B. White, A. J. Liebling, Randall Jarrell, and Mary McCarthy, pivoting from the comic indignities of daily life to world peace, consumerism, and restaurants in Paris. Here is Norman Mailer on Jackie Kennedy, Vladimir Nabokov on Lolita,Martin Luther King, Jr.’s \”Letter from Birmingham Jail,\” and Richard Hofstadter’s \”The Paranoid Style in American Politics.\” Here are Gore Vidal, Rachel Carson, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, John Updike, Joan Didion, and many more, in a treasury of brilliant writing that has stood the test of time.