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The Best American Essays 2009 (2009)

by Mary Oliver(Favorite Author)
3.77 of 5 Votes: 5
0618982728 (ISBN13: 9780618982721)
Mariner Books
review 1: I've always loved Mary Oliver's poetry, so I was excited to read this edition of BAE. I was not disappointed. Just like any BAE, the collection is a mixed bag--some essays are more my taste than others. Wendell Berry's essay "Faustian Economics," for example, has truly compelling ideas--but a really annoying voice. Patricia Hampl babbles on a little too long, and at the end of Cynthia Ozick's essay, I wrote "obnoxious." But I'm really just being picky. Most of these essays sing. David James Duncan's "Cherish This Essay" ends as a poem; Verlyn Klinkenborg's "Our Vanishing Night" is both fascinating and concise; Garret Keizer and Michael Lewis are both funny and thought-provoking. Brian Doyle's "The Greatest Nature Essay Ever" is a great piece about craft--maybe too great, a... mores it lays out too neat, too predictable a pattern. I'd like to think of it as a call-to-arms for reinvention. Most of the essays in the collection are about cycles of nature, the transcendence of love, and our place as humans on this planet--pretty much the subjects of most of Oliver's poems. If you like her work, this collection will introduce you to essayists who share her sympathies.
review 2: I love the Best American Essays series in general, but I was particularly glad to see one of my favorite writers (nature poet and essayist) Mary Oliver as the guest editor for the 2009 volume. I tend to read the Best series in drips and dabbles, delving into an essay mid-volume as the title or author catches my interest and then back-tracking (or forward-tracking, as the case may be) through the rest/others. :) Beautiful and skilled prose. :) less
Reviews (see all)
These were clearly picked by a poet. A little airy and boring as essays though.
Some amazing essays are contained within...not to be missed.
patricia hampl-dark art of description
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