The Best American Essays


The Best American Essays by year

Robert Atwan, series editor.

Now at:

The Best American Essays 2007

Edited and with an introduction by David Foster Wallace; Robert Atwan, series editor.

Atwan [p. xi] summarizes criteria for an essay's inclusion, ending:

To qualify for this volume, the essay must be a work of respectable literary quality, intended as a fully developed, independent essay on a subject of general interest (not specialized scholarship), originally written in English (or translated by the author) for publication in an American periodical during the calendar year. Today's essay is a highly flexible and shifting form, however, so these criteria are not carved in stone.

Be sure to read David Forster Wallace's Introduction: Loved it Loved it Deciderization 2007 -- A Special Report. Loved it Loved it :

Now at: Best American Essays: 2007

The Best American Essays 1996

Now at: Best American Essays: 1996 Includes the essay "Owls" by Mary Oliver, also available in two of her collections:

Loved it: decoder ring

I marked with a star an essay that I liked particularly, and with more than one star if I loved it. Approximate ratings (your kilometerage may vary):