The Best American Magazine Writing 2006
About this book
In the magazine world, no recognition is more highly coveted or prestigious than a National Magazine Award. Annually, members of the American Society of Magazine Editors, in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, select the year's most dynamic, original, provocative, and influential magazine stories. The winning and finalist pieces in this anthology represent outstanding work by some of the most eminent writers in America as well as rising literary and journalistic talents. This prestigious collection includes stories that cover a variety of subjects from Elizabeth Kolbert's investigation into global warming in the "New Yorker" and James Bamford's look at the PR campaign behind the Iraq War in "Rolling Stone" to Chris Heath's remarkable profile of Merle Haggard in "GQ" and Bill Heavey's hilarious account of teaching his daughter to fish in "Field and Stream." Other writers include David Foster Wallace ( "The Atlantic Monthly"), Joyce Carol Oates ( "The Virginia Quarterly Review"), Priscilla Long ( "The American Scholar"), Jesse Katz ( "Los Angeles Magazine"), Marjorie Williams ( "Vanity Fair"), Hendrik Hertzberg ( "New Yorker"), Sven Birkerts ( "The Virginia Quarterly Review"), Erik Reece ( "Harper's"), Wendy Brenner ( "The Oxford American"), John Jeremiah Sullivan ( "GQ"), James Wolcott ( "Vanity Fair"), and Wyatt Mason ( "Harper's"). Wide-ranging in their style and subjects, these writers' stories inform, surprise, entertain, and provide new perspectives on our world. They also reflect elements that distinguish the best in magazine writing: moral passion, investigative zeal, vivid characters and settings, persistent reporting, and artful writing.
This is an exceptional collection of magazine articles (plus one exceptional Joyce Carol Oates short story, "Smother") that didn't feel at all dated. Personal highlights were David Foster Wallace's profile of a talk radio host, Majorie Williams' posthumously published essay about dying from, while living with, incurable liver cancer, and Wendy Brenner's profile of Dean Ripa, a snake collector / writer / artist / professional singer / friend of William Burroughs, but it's hard to single out only a few of these 16 pieces, honored by the American Society of Magazine Editors. Each and every one of them was well worth the time spent. (That is, except for the Sven Birkerts' essay, at least for me. But I must confess I haven't read any Saul Bellow, and this essay was all about Birkerts' relationship with one particular Bellow novel, so it's probably me, not Sven.)If you can still find this collection buy it, steal it, or borrow it, and then read it. Right away. I'll be looking for the rest of the series.
Kind of spotty, but the essay by Majorie Williams makes the book worth its exorbitant price
I want to be in here someday...