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The Beacon Best of 2001
     

The Beacon Best of 2001

by Junot Díaz
 

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The Beacon Best offers in one volume the most exciting American literary experience available. This third edition guest edited by the acclaimed writer, Junot Díaz, hignlights the innovative voices of Agha Shahid Ali, Danzy Senna, and Zadie Smith, among others.

Overview

The Beacon Best offers in one volume the most exciting American literary experience available. This third edition guest edited by the acclaimed writer, Junot Díaz, hignlights the innovative voices of Agha Shahid Ali, Danzy Senna, and Zadie Smith, among others.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"I am a 34-year-old black woman, alive at the end of the 20th century and passing for sane. Believe me, that's saying something," writes Felicia Ward in "Good Night Moon," her restrained prose fraught with complex emotions as she describes her disintegrating marriage and her rage at her children. Seeking the "gap... between the Real Story and the Official Story," Dominican-American fiction writer Diaz (Drown) culled these 28 selections, primarily by writers of color, from periodicals as diverse as O, The Oprah Magazine; Transition; Granta; Gato Pardo; and the New Yorker. Many, like Elissa Wald's "Notes from the Catwalk," are first-person narratives. Wald describes her experiences as a Times Square stripper with bluntness and pungency balanced by emotional nuance. The host at work asks her why she looks sad one night: " `My cat died this afternoon,' I told him. Incredibly, his doughy face creased into a grin. `Aw look, honey, don't take it too hard,' he guffawed. `As long as your other pussy's holding up.' " Sex and/or love are at the heart of many of the pieces in the 16-line poem "Interglacial," John Frazier describes gay ex-lovers having sex and figuring out what their relationship is about. "How to Do," a poem by Cornelius Eady, begins "It embarrasses my niece to think of her mother/ Walking the street with a cart/ Picking up empties," and describes returning bottles to the local store for food credit. Diaz draws on noted names Lucille Clifton, Zadie Smith, Louise Erdrich but many are less well-known. This excellent collection, billed as "the alternative literary annual," is an important addition to the wide world of literary anthologies. (Oct. 17) Copyright 2001 Cahners BusinessInformation.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-The 12 poems and 16 prose pieces in this anthology represent diverse subject matter and narrative styles, and there are five wonderful selections with strong teen appeal. One is Nega Mezlekia's "From EXODUS: An Ethiopian Road Trip," in which a teen, armed with an M-R rifle, and his refugee family and friends are trying to survive in the war-torn Ethiopian countryside. Many YAs will also enjoy Dagoberto Gilb's "I Knew She Was Beautiful." It is narrated by the son of a woman whose tumultuous relationships with men caused him to feel alienated from her, especially while he was an adolescent. "Stuart" by Zadie Smith is about a scuffle between a teenaged boy and an adult hot-dog vendor that results in a freakish and serious injury to an unsuspecting passerby. James Ellis Thomas's "The Saturday Morning Car Wash Club" is a sharp, humorous tale about two 16-year-old boys who triumphantly stand up to a notorious bully who is legally an adult. Even the most reluctant readers will be spellbound by the dramatic tension and hip language of Thomas's writing. The poetry has less teen appeal, but the prose pieces offer rich material for lively class discussions and interesting written assignments.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807062395
Publisher:
Beacon
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.60(d)

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