The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 2

Lee Gutkind, Editor W. W. Norton & Company $15.95 (341p) ISBN 978-0-393-33024-3
In his follow-up to last year's volume, the first in a re-launched, annual version of his journal Creative Nonfiction, Gutkind gathers another fresh collection of exemplary essays from a wide range of authors and sources, tackling everything from multiracial love and familial exile to the connection between memory and digital photo manipulation. Relatable situations and eccentric writers keep the stories intelligent but accessible, and often poignant; especially resonant is Gwendolyn Knapp's attempt to rehabilitate her mom's terminal case of pack-rat fever. Sarah Miller-Davenport provides some levity in a piece on guilty (and expensive) pleasures called ""Here I Am in Bergdorf Goodman."" Many accounts run up the old stranger-than-fiction flag, most notably Sewell Matter's piece regarding her discovery, on an Icelandic beach, of a page torn from a book; captivated by the ""amazingly, almost unbelievably, bad"" excerpt, she sets off on a global search for the complete novel. Proving again his chops as an anthologist, Gutkind's latest collection-which also includes Heidi Julavits, Pagan Kennedy, William deBuys and the guy behind a 30-run homer, a whirlwind of moods and thoughts captured by some of the biggest talents on the essay and blog beat.
Reviewed on: 06/30/2008
Release date: 07/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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