The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction

The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction

The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction

The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction


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Literary Nonfiction. Flash Nonfiction. Essays. Memoir. Hybrid. How much of the human experience can fit into 750 words? A lot, it turns out. Since its founding in 1997, Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction has published hundreds of brief nonfiction essays by writers around the world, each within that strict word count. Over the past 20 years, Brevity has become one of the longest-running and most popular online literary publications, a journal readers regularly return to for insightful essays from skilled writers at every stage of their careers. Featuring examples of nonfiction forms such as memoir, narrative, lyric, braided, hermit crab, and hybrid, THE BEST OF BREVITY brings you 84 of the best-loved and most memorable reader favorites, collected in print for the first time. Compressed to their essence, these essays glint with drama, grief, love, and anger, as well as innumerable other lived intensities, resulting in an anthology that is as varied as it is unforgettable, leaving the reader transformed.

With contributions from Krys Malcolm Belc, Jenny Boully, Brian Doyle, Roxane Gay, Daisy Hernßndez, Michael Martone, Ander Monson, Patricia Park, Kristen Radtke, Diane Seuss, Abigail Thomas, Jia Tolentino, and so many more, THE BEST OF BREVITY offers unparalleled diversity of style, form, and perspective for those interested in reading, writing, or teaching the flash nonfiction form.

"THE BEST OF BREVITY feels like the condensed energy of a coiled spring. A vibrant collection, dynamic in its exploration and celebration of the flash form."—Karen Babine

"'I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead,' Mark Twain has said. But the writers who have contributed to THE BEST OF BREVITY: TWENTY GROUNDBREAKING YEARS OF FLASH NONFICTION took the time and made the effort. Dinty W. Moore, a pioneer of flash and the founding editor of Brevity, and his colleague Zoë Bossiere, have put together a marvelous collection of magic moments and concise ideas that will intrigue, delight, and inspire readers and writers. Each piece is an all-consuming instant, a thought-provoking breath of enlightenment and surprise. These flashes illustrate the power, versatility, and potential of the creative nonfiction genre."—Lee Gutkind

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941628232
Publisher: Rose Metal Press
Publication date: 11/17/2020
Pages: 276
Sales rank: 87,124
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Zoë Bossiere is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University, with a dual concentration in creative writing and rhetoric and composition. She is managing editor of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction and a podcast host for the New Books Network's Literature channel, where she interviews authors about their debut books of nonfiction. Her writing has been published in Guernica, The Rumpus, North Dakota Quarterly, Essay Daily, among other places.

Dinty W. Moore is the author of the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize. His other books include The Accidental Buddhist, Toothpick Men, The Emperor's Virtual Clothes, Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy, and The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life. Additionally, Moore edited THE ROSE METARL PRESS FIELD GUIDE TO WRITING FLASH NONFICTION: ADVISE AND ESSENTIAL EXERCISES FROM RESPECTED WRITERS, EDITORS, AND TEACHERS (Rose Metal Press, 2012) an anthology of craft essays and writing prompts that works well alongside the essays here in THE BEST OF BRIVITY (Rose Metal Press, 2020). He has published his work in The Georgia Review, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He is editor-in-chief of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, and has taught writing workshops across the United States as well as in Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, and Canada.

Table of Contents

Introduction: On Voice, Concision, and 20 Years of Flash Nonfiction Dinty W. Moore ix

Introduction: Flash, Present, and Future: A Brevity Retrospective Zoë Bossiere xiii

The Shape of Emptiness Brenda Miller 1

Thumb-Sucking Girl Sonja Livingston 3

The Cruelty We Delivered: An Apology Ira Sukrungruang 4

I Hoisted them, two drug dealers, I guess that's what they were Diane Seuss 6

Wings Daisy Hernández 8

Imagining Foxes Brian Doyle 11

Women These Days Amy Butcher 13

Forgetting Abigail Thomas 16

Poster Children Sandra Gail Lambert 17

Letter to a Future Lover Ander Monson 20

The Birthday Place Rebecca McClanahan 22

A Most Dangerous Game Alexis Wiggins 25

Mother's Tongue Samuel Autman 27

Wide Open Spaces Kathryn Miller 29

Blood; Quantum Danielle Geller 31

Girl Fight Joey Franklin 33

White Lies Erin Murphy 35

I Remain Very Sorry for What I Did to the Little Black Kitten Jenny Boully 37

Shower Songs Brian Trapp 39

My Cousin's Backyard Deborah Taffa 42

Holy Lori Jakiela 44

Fluency Jamila Osman 47

Cheekbones Patricia Park 48

If You Find a Mouse on a Glue Trap Suzanne Farrell Smith 51

Lag Time Steven Church 53

The Sloth Jill Chnstman 55

Place Robert Root 56

Transgender Day of Remembrance: A Found Essay Torrey Peters 59

Intro to Creative Writing Dani Johannesen 64

A Brief Atmospheric Future Matthew Gavin Frank 67

Counting Bats Thao Thai 70

Openings Jennifer Sinor 73

How to Leave a Room Marcia Aldrich 75

Sunrise Joe Oestreich 77

Post-Mortem Traci Brimhall 80

An Indian in Yoga Class: Finding Imbalance Rajpreet Heir 83

Genesis Bret Lott 86

The Blind Prophets of Easter Island Tessa Fontaine 89

I Go Back to Berryman's Vincent Scarpa 91

\'in-glish\ Christina Tang-Bernas 93

Before Sunrise Erika Dreifus 96

Dropping Babies J.D. Schraffenberger 99

Solving for X Pam Durban 102

So Little Josey Foo 105

Suspended Kyle Minor 106

Fish Nicole Walker 108

When a 17-Year-Old Checkout Clerk in Small Town Michigan Hits on Me, I Think about the Girl I Loved at 17 Krys Malcolm Belc 111

Bear Fragments Christine Byl 113

Recesses Mark Strieker 116

Katy Perry Is Crooning and Won't Stop Just Because I Did Shuly Xóchitl Cawood 118

Five from Kyrgyzstan Jia Tolentino 120

How to Discuss Race as a White Person Sam Stokley 123

Hairy Credentials Nicole Cyrus 125

Alive Laurie Lynn Drummond 128

Perdition Kristen Radtke 131

Success and Prosperity Bouiyan Chen Jennie Chia-Hui Chu 132

Quinto Sol Michelle Otero 134

Devotion Sarah J. Lin 136

Girl/Thing Anna Vodicka 139

Ace of Spades Julie Marie Wade 140

Some Space Michael Martone 143

An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work Ayse Papatya Bucak 146

Confession Michelle Valois 149

Beach City Jaquira Díaz 151

On Being a Trucker Lia Purpura 154

How to Erase an Arab Julie Hakim Azzam 156

Milk for Free Deesha Philyaw 159

Surrender Nina Boutsikaris 162

The Salmon Charlotte Gullick 164

The Things I've Lost Brian Arundel 167

The Farmers' Almanac Best Days for Breeding John A. McDermott 170

All or Nothing, Self-Portrait at 27 Jill Talbot 172

Talk Big Lee Martin 174

Open Season Harrison Candelaria Fletcher 177

Chronology of the Body Sam Kiss 181

On the Occurrence of March 20, 1981 and on the Occurrences of Every Night After B.J. Hollars 184

Meanness Beverly Donofrio 186

When We Played Matthew Komatsu 188

The Heart as a Torn Muscle Randon Billings Noble 191

Breathless Heather Sellers 194

The Domestic Apologies Dustin Parsons 197

The Lunch Lady and Her Three-Headed Dogs Sonya Huber 200

Some Things About That Day Debra Marquart 202

There Are Distances Between Us Roxane Gay 204

Further Resources for Writers, Readers, and Teachers of Flash Nonaction

On Brevity and Teaching the Flash Essay 209

A Guide to Pairing The Best of Brevity with The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction 213

Alternate Table of Contents by Subject and Form 219

Contributors 230

Credits 250

Acknowledgments 253

About the Editors 255

A Note about the Type 256

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