The Eloquent Essay: An Anthology of Classic & Creative Nonfiction

9781439503034: The Eloquent Essay: An Anthology of Classic & Creative Nonfiction

A concise anthology of superb classic and creative nonfiction from the twentieth century.

This anthology of seventeen modern essays shows the form at its most varied and dramatic. Purposefully concise, it gathers together exemplars of the personal narrative, the argument, the anecdotal essay, digressive discourse, the "open letter," and others. Some of the most engaging authors of our time write on subjects as diverse as becoming a doctor, cattle grazing rights, the death of Socrates, Anne Frank, computer culture, and how to detect "baloney" in all the verbiage that surrounds us.

Included in the collection are essays by George Orwell, W. H. Auden, Bruno Bettelheim, Eudora Welty, Martin Luther King Jr., Joan Didion, Edward Abbey, Leo Marx, I. F. Stone, Pico Iyer, Amy Tan, Lewis Thomas, Barbara Kingsolver, Ann S. Causey, Carl Sagan, Ellen Ullman, and Opal Palmer Adisa. Arranged in chronological order, each selection begins with a note about the author and the essay that follows. The introduction discusses the history of the essay form and the reasons for its special vitality.

The Eloquent Essay engages the intellect and the passions, and offers the general reader the pleasures of cogent written discourse. At the same time, its carefully selected essays―each one superbly written and accessible―are well suited to study and discussion.

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About the Author:

John Loughery is the author of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize finalist John Sloan: Painter and Rebel and has edited the anthologies First Sightings: Contemporary Stories of American Youth, Into the Widening World: International Coming-of-Age Stories, and The Eloquent Essay: An Anthology of Classic & Creative Nonfiction. He teaches English at the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City.

From Library Journal:

Loughery, a teacher at the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, has selected 17 American and English essays to demonstrate the vitality and variety of this genre. He includes pieces by George Orwell, W.H. Auden, Eudora Welty, Martin Luther King, and Lewis Thomas, among others. In one memorable essay, Bruno Bettelheim argues that Anne's family brought disaster upon themselves by their determination to ignore reality and live as if things were normal. In another, Leo Marx considers the Huckleberry Finn controversy, concluding that teachers are best qualified to decide if their students should read Huck, because they know "their own ability to convey, and their students' ability to grasp, the irony that informs every word of this matchless comic novel." Carl Sagan talks about detecting baloney, while Barbara Kingsolver claims that she became an author because of the Dewey Decimal system. Each essay is preceded by a brief biographical sketch. Filled with humor, seriousness, skill in writing, and meaningful subjects, this collection is recommended for academic or public libraries where interest warrants.
-Nancy Patterson Shires, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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