Overview

The renowned nonfiction annual makes its Penguin debut

For more than a decade, Philip Zaleski has collected into a single volume the best spiritual essays and poetry of the year. The Best Spiritual Writing 2010, featuring essays by John Updike and Diane Ackerman, poems from Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney and Pulitzer Prize-winner Louise Gl?ck, and personal reflections by Richard Rodriguez and Leon Wieseltier, is sure to expand on the ...
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The Best Spiritual Writing 2010

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Overview

The renowned nonfiction annual makes its Penguin debut

For more than a decade, Philip Zaleski has collected into a single volume the best spiritual essays and poetry of the year. The Best Spiritual Writing 2010, featuring essays by John Updike and Diane Ackerman, poems from Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney and Pulitzer Prize-winner Louise Glück, and personal reflections by Richard Rodriguez and Leon Wieseltier, is sure to expand on the series' already wide recognition and reach the growing audience of readers searching for unsurpassed spiritual writing.

Contributors include:

Mary Jo Bang, Jane Hirshfield, Melissa Range, Rick Bass, Paula Huston, Pattiann Rogers, David Berlinski, Pico Iyer, Amanda Shaw, Joseph Bottum, Charles Johnson, Master Sheng Yen, Nicholas Carr, Jon D. Levenson, Floyd Skloot, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Philip Levine, Meir Soloveichik, Billy Collins, Wilfred M. McClay, Richard Wilbur, Chrisi Cox, Richard John Neuhaus, Seamus Heaney, Robert Pinsky




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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It can be easy to dismiss the word “best” on the cover of anything these days. The term has been devalued, slapped on too many CD covers and kitchen appliances, erasing its former profound linguistic value. Zaleski’s compilation of spiritual writings, however, restores “best” to its rightful exceptional place. The book’s selections range from poetry and short fiction to memoir and essay, hailing from a variety of authorial and cultural sources. Just as literary form varies, Zaleski wisely recognizes, too, that spirituality can be defined almost infinitely, encompassing a vast range of belief and even nonbelief. Poems from the Atlantic or the New Yorker command attention in addition to longer treatises on “The God of the Gaps” and Buddhist enlightenment. John Updike sits next to Orthodox Judaism while the Dalai Lama spends the night in suburban New York. A Kazakh healer chats with Seamus Heaney, and secularization theory is next in line. It is a curious literary party at first glance, but the diverse forms, voices, topics gradually coalesce into something bigger and more elegant, something spiritual and extraordinary: the Best. (Jan. 26)
Library Journal
The start of the year has brought us the annual volume, now from Penguin, of this outstanding series under the editorship of Zaleski, here exhibiting his usual catholicity of taste. He includes poems from the likes of Billy Collins, Seamus Heaney, Louise Glück, and Richard Wilbur, as well as an intriguing new translation of the first canto of Dante's Inferno by Mary Jo Bang; essays by Diane Ackerman, Rick Bass, Leon Wieseltier, John Updike, and Richard Rodriguez; and Nicholas Carr's much-discussed "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" For thoughtfulness and literary pleasure, this instantiation may be the best yet; as Zaleski's preface suggests, "Only those who write for heaven leave a worthy legacy upon earth." VERDICT A beautiful collection, excellent especially for literary-minded readers of all religious persuasions; an essential purchase for most libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101196618
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 322 KB

Meet the Author

Philip Zaleski is the founding editor of the Best Spiritual Writing series and the co-author, most recently, of Prayer: A History.
Pico Iyer is the author of several books about faith and crossing cultures in the modern world. His most recent book is The Open Road.

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