cover image The Best of Brevity: 20 Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction

The Best of Brevity: 20 Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction

Edited by Zoe Bossiere and Dinty W. Moore. Rose Metal, $16.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-941628-24-9

In this marvelous, diverse anthology, Brevity editors Moore and Bossiere collect the literary journal’s best nonfiction pieces, none longer than 750 words. Readers will find some familiar names, including Roxane Gay and Jia Tolentino, but also gems from lesser-known writers. They include poets such as Diane Seuss, whose entry comprises a single run-on sentence capturing a parent’s fury and fatigue while dealing with a child’s drug addiction, and Lori Jakiela, who recalls a conversation in which her terminally ill mother argued with her about the fate of Lori’s soul while teaching her to make a nut-roll. Elsewhere, book reviewer Julie Hakim Azzam writes poignantly of Palestine as “a phantom limb that continues to send pain signals through the nerves.” Among the fiction writers, Patricia Park reflects on Americans’ and North and South Koreans’ differing beauty standards, and Torrey Peters crafts a powerful found essay out of violent details from a 2014 report on transgender murder victims. Closing out the book, Bossiere and Moore include a list of additional recommended reading. This collection will be an asset to writing teachers and students, and a joy to essay fans. (Nov.)