The readings in The Writer’s Presence are selected exclusively for the quality of the writing. Editors Donald McQuade of the University of California, Berkeley, and Robert Atwan, Series Editor of The Best American Essays scoured hundreds of essays in search of teachable readings with strong voices and clear points of view. The result is a blend of classic pieces by favorites like James Baldwin, Annie Dillard, and Amy Tan; and fresh pieces by rising stars like Michael Pollan, Geeta Kothari, James McBride, and Daniel Harris. The voices in The Writer’s Presence represent different communities, time periods, levels of difficulty, and fields of study, and the topics intersect in intriguing and nuanced ways, giving students the opportunity to think critically and develop their own voices.
Organized by type of writing and with minimal apparatus, The Writer’s Presence gives instructors unsurpassed teaching flexibility. With so many exceptional readings and so many ways to teach them, the possibilities are endless.
DONALD McQUADE is professor of English and former dean of undergraduate studies and Vice Chancellor of University Affairs at the University of California, Berkeley. A past chair of CCCC, he has directed the writing programs at Berkeley and at Queens College, CUNY, and has published widely on American literature, American culture, and composition theory and practice. With his daughter Christine, he is coeditor of Seeing & Writing, now in its third edition from Bedford/St. Martin's.
ROBERT ATWAN is the director of The Blue Hills Writing Institute at Curry College and founder of the Best American Essays series, for which he serves as series editor. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Atlantic Monthly, and Kenyon Review. For Bedford/St. Martin's, he has edited Ten on Ten: Major Essayists on Recurring Themes; Our Times: Readings from Recent Periodicals, now in its fifth edition, America Now: Short Readings from Recent Periodicals, now in its seventh edition, and Convergences, now available in its second edition.