Best American Essays 2010

TUE, OCT 26, 2010 (1:04:54)

Series editor Robert Atwan joins contributors John Summers and Jerald Walker to discuss The Best American Essays 2010, the 25th anniversary volume.

+ BIO: Robert Atwan

Robert Atwan is the series editor of The Best American Essays, which he founded in 1986. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The St. Petersburg Times, the Boston Review, and the Atlantic Monthly. He has authored studies of popular culture and has contributed criticism and poetry to the Iowa Review, the Kenyon Review, the Denver Quarterly, and Image. Atwan has edited college anthologies, collections of current journalism, political essays, two collections of poetry inspired by the Bible, and contributed introductions to a new series of Shakespeare plays.

+ BIO: John Summers

Before taking on leadership of The Baffler, Summers had taught at Harvard University and Columbia University, where he was lecturer on American studies in 2008-2009. He also served as the editor of The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills and is the author of Every Fury on Earth, a collection of his essays on history and politics.

(Photo: Robert Birnbaum)

+ BIO: Jerald Walker

Jerald Walker is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Emerson College. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays, Best African American Essays, The Missouri Review, and The Iowa Review, among others.

His new book, Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption, diagrams his life – growing up with his parents, both of whom were blind and members of a religious cult, and six siblings in a Chicago housing project, his history with drug addiction, and his struggle against racism when he returned to school as a young adult. Robert Atwan calls Street Shadows, “a daring, evocative, and unflinchingly honest memoir by an extraordinary writer with an extraordinary story to tell.”

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