The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010

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An eclectic volume introduced by David Sedaris and compiled by Dave Eggers and students of his San Francisco writing center, who don’t leave a stone unturned in their search for nonrequired gems.
Cover art by art by Maurice Sendak.

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An eclectic volume introduced by David Sedaris and compiled by Dave Eggers and students of his San Francisco writing center, who don’t leave a stone unturned in their search for nonrequired gems.
Cover art by art by Maurice Sendak.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
David Sedaris's unflappable inventiveness translates, in the first section of this anthology, to a smattering of pieces with giddiness, daring, and heart. A particular highlight, by Wendy Molyneux, earned his award for "Best American Woman Comedy Piece Written by a Woman" and is guaranteed to set off snorts of delight with each re-read. In the second section, as in previous years, Eggers's picks prove solid and balanced, if expected. Rana Dasgupta's superb article, exploring India's new wealth and subsequent fallout, as well as David Rhode's profound and gripping account of his seven months as a Taliban hostage reflect not only the literary achievements of 2009, but also the horrors and complexities of these current times on. Meanwhile, Tea Obreht's "The Tiger's Wife" and Kurt Vonnegut's "The Nice Little People" embody the ageless miracles of surprise and originality that comprise the human imagination. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547241630
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Series: Best American Nonrequired Reading Series
  • Pages: 484
  • Sales rank: 308,853
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVE EGGERS is the editor of McSweeney’s and a cofounder of 826 National, a network of nonprofit writing and tutoring centers for youth, located in seven cities across the United States. He is the author of four books, including What Is the What and How We Are Hungry .

David Sedaris is the author of six books, including When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and Me Talk Pretty One Day. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Public Radio International's This American Life.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Note xi

Introduction David Sedaris xv


Best American Woman Comedy Piece Written by a Woman: From Wendy Molyneux 3

Best American Sentences on Page 50 of Books Published in 2009 5

Best American Magazine Letters Section: From Newsweek Stephen Colbert 8

Best American Fast-Food-Related Crimes 10

Best American Gun Magazine Headlines 11

Best American Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: From Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak 13

Best American New Patents: From United States Patent and Trademark Office 14

Best American Tweets: From 16

Best American Letter to the Editor: From Bidoun 17

Best American Overqualified Cover Letters: From Overqualified Joey Comeau 18

Best American Fictional Character Names 22

Best American 350-Word Story: From Orion Barry Lopez 23

Best American Farm Names 24

Best American First Lines of Poems Published in 2009 26

Best American Journal Article Titles Published in 2009 28

Best American Illustrated Missed Connections: From Sophie Blackall 29

Best American New Band Names 37

Best American Lawsuits 38

Best American Poems Written in the Last Decade or So by Soldiers and Citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan 40


War Dances: From War Dances Sherman Alexie 49

Like I Was Jesus: From Harper's Magazine Rachel Aviv 75

Burying Jeremy Green: From Shenandoah Nora Bonner 95

The Carnival: From Mome Lilli Carré 104

Capital Gains: From Granta Rana Dasgupta 137

The Encirclement: From Granta Tamas Dobozy 165

Man of Steel: From Ninth Letter Bryan Furuness 180

Half Beat: From The Greensboro Review Elizabeth Gonzalez 198

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines: From San Francisco Panorama Andrew Sean Greer 213

Didier Lefèvre, and Frédéric Lemercier. The Photographer: From The Photographer, translated from French by Alexis Siegel Emmanuel Guibert 238

What, of this Goldfish, Would You Wish?: From Tin House, translated from Hebrew by Nathan Englander Etgar Keret 262

Fed to The Streets: From L.A. Weekly Courtney Moreno 268

The Tiger's Wife: From The New Yorker Téa Obreht 287

Breakdown: From Mome T. Ott 308

Ideas: From The Paris Review, translated from Spanish by Mara Faye Lethem Patricio Pron 316

Vanish: From Wired Evan Ratliff 323

Seven Months, Ten Days in Captivity: From New York Times David Rohde 345

Tent City, U. S. A.: From GQ George Saunders 395

The Nice Little People: From Zoetrope: All-Story Kurt Vonnegut 431

Freedom: From Boston Review Amy Waldman 439

Contributors' Notes 456

The Best American Nonrequired Reading Committee 463

Notable Nonrequired Reading of 2009 472

About 826 National 479

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Customer Reviews

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