The provocative and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens takes the helm of the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this perennial favorite that is "reliable and yet still surprising--the best of the best" ("Kirkus Reviews").
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Publish Date:||Oct 2010|
|Number of Pages:||272|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.65|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.5 x 8.5 x 0.75|
Christopher Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England on April 13, 1949. He was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and wrote for numerous other publications throughout his lifetime. He was the author of numerous books including No One Left to Lie To, For the Sake of Argument, Prepared for the Worst, God Is Not Great, Hitch-22: A Memoir, and Arguably. He died due to complication from esophageal cancer on December 15, 2011 at the age of 62.
This selection of the year's outstanding essays of literary achievement at first appears to be a book for those J.D. Salinger called "lifetime English major[s]". Entries such as "The Murder of Leo Tolstoy" by Elif Batuman, "Lunching on Olympus" by Steven L. Isenberg, and "A Fine Rage" by James Woods all focus on the essayist's reaction to meeting or reading the works of famous authors such as George Orwell and Philip Larkin.
After digging further into the collection of 21 entries, however, readers will discover gems that quickly move the book beyond the realm of an English class curriculum. "The Elegant Eyeball" by John Gamel explains a doctor's duty when healing has failed to accompany patients on the "lonely road to disability and death". Matt Labash's "A Rake of Progress" takes readers through several days in the Washington, DC, life of Marion Barry, the former mayor and current council member, who blames other people for his drug and tax problems. "The Dead Book" by Jane Churchon details the respect and dignity required of a nursing supervisor asked to pronounce "Mrs. Jones" dead.
Verdict: This new contribution to a series published annually since 1986 is a required library acquisition and perfect for writers seeking a concentrated look at contemporary essay writing.
-Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL
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