This Is My Best: Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work

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We all have our favorite pieces by our beloved writers. But what do they think is their own best work? Inspired by an acclaimed collection published in 1942, the editors at the Quality Paperback Book Club invited fiction writers, essayists, poets, playwrights, and cartoonists to choose and comment on their best work. The result is a veritable who's who of contemporary literature and popular culture, including selections by Anne Tyler, Arthur Miller, Gary Trudeau, David Sedaris, Rita Dove, Tom Robbins, Ruth ...
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Overview

We all have our favorite pieces by our beloved writers. But what do they think is their own best work? Inspired by an acclaimed collection published in 1942, the editors at the Quality Paperback Book Club invited fiction writers, essayists, poets, playwrights, and cartoonists to choose and comment on their best work. The result is a veritable who's who of contemporary literature and popular culture, including selections by Anne Tyler, Arthur Miller, Gary Trudeau, David Sedaris, Rita Dove, Tom Robbins, Ruth Reichl, T. C. Boyle, Mary Karr, John Updike, and dozens more. Each selection is rewarding in itself; more still for the introductions in which the author explains his or her choice, shedding light on both the work and creative process. Appealing to readers of the annual best short story collections, writers, and fans of the stellar list of contributors, This Is My Best is a landmark literary anthology.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Riffing on a 1942 Story magazine anthology, the editors of the Quality Paperback Book Club invited a wide range of authors to select their best writing for this collection, including Scott Adams, Julia Alvarez, John Updike, P.D. James, Ruth Reichl, Natalie Angier, Gish Jen, Jonathan Lethem, Robert Pinsky, Barbara Kingsolver, David Sedaris, Scott Turow, and Anne Tyler. All told, 56 authors participated. Their reasons for choosing a particular story are what truly make the book worthwhile. It soon becomes clear that the authors stand in three camps when put to the task of contributing: those who demure from naming their best work and offer up some other reason for submitting a particular text; those who simply ignore the question of which of their works is the best; and those confident that a certain piece is the one. The usually brief justifications of why a work was selected are personal, reflective, insightful, neurotic, and funny. Recommended for larger public libraries.-Neal Wyatt, Chesterfield Cty. P.L., VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811848299
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Retha Powers is executive editor of the Quality Paperback Book Club. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Essence, Ms., Vibe, and Glamour. She lives in New York City.

Kathy Kiernan is co-editor of First Fiction: An Anthology of the First Published Stories by Famous Writers. A former fiction editor at Jane magazine and now on the board of the Evergreen Review, she lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Dilbert, October 8, 2001 1
"Jimmy Hoffa's odyssey" 3
From Before we were free 7
"Confessions of a lonely atheist" 21
From Timbuktu 34
"Filthy with things" 42
From Sweet summer 63
"What to do" 79
From Caramelo 80
"Mrs. Dutta writes a letter" 89
"A short story" 108
"Her island" 114
From "Tiger-frame glasses" 120
"Dumped!" 134
From Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot 141
"Surprise" 146
"A hidden killer in Cajun country" 166
From Migrations of the heart 178
"The former first lady and the football hero" 183
From Fanatics and fools 210
From A taste for death 215
"Who's Irish?" 222
From Cherry 233
From The poisonwood bible 243
From China men 249
"A gaggle of saints" 260
From Under my skin 284
From The fortress of solitude 289
"My father with cigarette twelve years before the Nazis could break his heart" 294
"The mappist" 297
From "The facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios" 309
From Property 318
From Salesman in Beijing 324
"From Mao to America : a writer's remarkable journey" 337
From Farewell the trumpets 342
From The wind up bird chronicle 345
"The wedding at the courthouse" 363
From Intimate apparel 365
"The girl with the blackened eye" 371
"Impossible to tell" 383
From The botany of desire 390
"America : the multi-national society" 400
"The queen of mold" 405
From Anthropology : "normal," "pieces," "Madrid," "trick," "dust," "beauty," and "lesbian" 418
From Fierce invalids home from hot climates 422
"Sand" 432
"Getting away from it all" 439
"Repeat after me" 448
"Flakes of fire, handfuls of light" 459
From Who needs donuts? 475
"Frank Sinatra has a cold" 480
Doonesbury : "the golden hour" 517
From The laws of our fathers 520
From Dinner at the homesick restaurant 525
"Your lover just called" 530
"Son in the afternoon" 538
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