Since it's 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 hundreds of pieces from dozens 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. The Best American Essays 2001 is edited by the best-selling, award-winning writer Kathleen Norris, whose books include Dakota and The Virgin of Bennington.
This year’s Best American Essays is edited by the best-selling, award-winning writer Kathleen Norris, whose books include Dakota andThe Virgin of Bennington. “The writers in this volume invite us into hidden places: a surgical pathologist’s laboratory, the boxing gym where a college professor and his student learn unexpected lessons about discipline, pain, and growing to adulthood. There are many discoveries to be made here, and I gladly invite the reader to an uncommonly rich and rewarding book.” — Kathleen Norris
Kathleen Norris is the author of two books of poetry, Falling Off (1971) and The Middle of the World (1981) and has received awards from the Guggenheim and Bush foundations. She lives in Lemmon, South Dakota, with her husband.
ROBERT ATWAN has been the series editor of The Best American Essays since its inception in 1986. He has edited numerous literary anthologies and written essays and reviews for periodicals nationwide.