Author: Dave Eggers (series editor), Marjane Satrapi (introduction)
Type: Fiction, non-fiction, short stories, essays, comics, poetry, humor (anthology)
I read it: April 2010
Another solid volume from the Nonrequired Reading series. Highlights from the “front section:” Best American Censorship Blunder, Best American Craigslist Items and Offers to Barter, Best American Kids’ Letters to Obama. Then you have the mix of quality fiction (Rivka Galchen’s “Wild Berry Blue”) and comics (Nick St. John’s “Further Notes on My Unfortunate Condition”). Best of all in this collection is the wide non-fiction selection, with many great contributions: a comment on race from Eula Biss (“Relations”), the inner monologue of a sports reporter from Michelle Seaton (“How to Work a Locker Room”), the modern river narrative “Mississippi Drift” by Matthew Power, the character study “The Chameleon” by David Grann, and a touching tribute to David Foster Wallace by Jonathan Franzen. Once again, I must urge that there’s something here for everybody, and a lot here for most people.