The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002


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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002 by Dave Eggers

Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to the twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected—and most popular—of its kind.

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002 is a selection for young people of the best literature from mainstream and alternative American periodicals: from the New Yorker, Jane, Rolling Stone, Zyzzyva, Vibe, The Onion, Spin, Epoch, Time, Little Engines, Modern Humorist, Esquire, and more. Dave Eggers has chosen the highlights of 2001 for this genre-busting collection that includes new fiction, essays, satire, journalism—and much more. From Eric Schlosser on french fries to Elizabeth McKenzie on awful family to Seaton Smith on how to "jive" with your teen, The Best American Nonrequried Reading 2002 is the first and the best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618246946
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/15/2002
Series: Best American Series
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)

About 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.

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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where the Best American series has always seemed, to me, to take itself so seriously, this hip little offspring offers up some fun! (It's easier to tote around as well) The writing is colorful and witty.In a world of factiods and ticker tape info, it proves that quick,nonrequired reads CAN be enjoyable. My only complaint is that it has been marketed so pointedly at a younger crowd. Everyone I know, including myself (and I dare say many of the volume's contributors), who has read and loved the stories, is hovering at least in the mid-thirties! Dispite my age,I look forward to enjoying future volumes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a busy 20-something, I love short stories, and this is one of the best collections I've read. Most of the stories are humorous, while I actually learned something from others. Definitely a great read, for either recreational or serious readers!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This year the Best American Series created a new volume: The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Michael Cart (My Father's Scar) is the series editor, and Dave Eggers is the guest editor. And considering it's Eggers, this volume should do well. It contains some good stories and articles. What hurts it the most is a lack of continuity. It's hard to figure out just what falls into the category of 'nonrequired reading,' even after reading the introductions and the collection. It is a combination of fiction and essays, and seems to have a humourous and experimental slant. It also seems to be directed, as the editors say, to the younger generation, those that fall between 15 and 25 (but good essays and fiction are good for all ages). Most selections come from 'alternative' sources, but there are a few that first appeared in The New Yorker and Esquire and the likes. Still, it is tough to figure out exactly what the criteria for being chosen for this volume is. Even so, it is a good volume of work, well worth reading (like the Best American series tends to be). The essays/articles in the volume cover a wide range. There is humor (Jenny Bitner¿s ¿The Pamphleteer¿; Seth Mnookin¿s ¿The Nice New Radicals¿; ¿Jiving With Your Teen¿ by Seaton Smith; and two selections from The Onion). There¿s an essay (¿Generation Exile¿) about Tibet, drugs (¿Speed Demons¿ which concerns methamphetamine use in Thai), illegal aliens (Kamber¿s ¿Toil and Temptation¿) and their adjustment to America. Sara Corbett¿s poignant essay ¿The Lost Boys¿ (from The New York Times Upfront) about refugees from Africa, and their culture shock and adjustment of coming to America (Minnesota no less). Eric Schlosser¿s ¿Why McDonald¿s Fries Taste So Good¿ is here. And there are the essays that don¿t quite fit (Finkel¿s essay from the New York Times Magazine about the battle in Afghanistan- pre Sept 11; Gary Smith¿s ¿Higher Education¿, which is an article from Sports Illustrated about a high school coach who comes to a small Mennonite community and opens their eyes and hearts ). Overall the essays shoot for a younger audience and one that is more Eco or Libertarian. I found the essays to be pretty weak, overall. There are some good ones, but these feel like rejects for the sister publication, Best American Essays. And for fiction there is Sam Lipsyte¿s ¿Snacks¿ about a youth¿s alienation because of obesity; Elizabeth McKenzie¿s great story ¿Stop That Girl¿ which covers a child who feels she is being replaced by her mother¿s new husband and baby, and this story has a great ending; Keith Pille¿s ¿Journal of a New COBRA Recruit¿ from, which is a hilarious short about a youth joining COBRA (from G.I. Joe) and his training, and this one is very funny; Rodney Rothman¿s ¿My Fake Job¿ from The New Yorker is a hilarious account of a man pretending to work somewhere-you have to read it to truly appreciate it (and it caused a bit of controversy from the New Yorker; David Schickler¿s ¿Fourth Angry Mouse¿; ¿Blood Poison¿ by Heidi Jon Schmidt (which contains a dark undercurrent, probably of molestation); the always hilarious Dave Sedaris with his ¿To Make a Friend, Be a Friend¿ from Esquire. The final two selections, both fiction, of the volume definitely fall under the experimental. Adrian Tomine¿s comic, ¿Bomb Scare¿ from Optic Nerve #8 is here. It is somewhat disjointed and the title doesn¿t fit, but it is a story of troubled teens. And then there are selections from ¿Please Don¿t Kill the Freshman¿ written by a h.s. freshman girl, who goes under the pseudonym `Zoe Trope.¿ This one is self published and pretty bad. Very disjointed, and once again, troubled teen. The fiction runs the range from the bad to the really good, but most fall in the middle range. They seem like the selections that didn¿t quite made the Best American Short Stories cut (except for Sedaris, Rothman, and Pille). And there is just bad work in here: Camden Joy¿s ¿Hubcap Diamondstar Halo.¿ Bu