cover image The Best Creative Nonfiction: Volume 3

The Best Creative Nonfiction: Volume 3

, . . Norton, $16.95 (251pp) ISBN 978-0-393-33025-0

With the big subjects of life and death framing the smaller frustrations of everyday existence, this third volume in the Creative Nonfiction series showcases a type of journalism that in many ways is informed by cutting-edge media. Indeed, of the 25 essays reprinted, one-quarter first appeared on the Web. As diverse as the subjects are, so are the writers represented. Likewise, there is a range in length, from blogs under one page to 20-page narratives. Predictably, the essays also display varying levels of inspiration and sparkle. Among the standouts is five-time Pushcart winner Brenda Miller on a girl's changing relationship with her body as she grows into womanhood; Edwidge Danticat on an uncle's love of the ultimate expletive; an emotional “Letter from a Japanese Crematorium” by Marie Mutsuki Mockett; a family car deal gone awry by Margaret Conway; an exploration of the meaning of the mass murders at Virginia Tech through the sad eyes of gunman Seung-Hui Cho by Wesley Yang. The energetic Gutkind (Almost Human ) edits his lean anthology with panache and gusto. (Aug.)