AT THE HUFFINGTON POST
By Joe Woodward
No one interests us more than ourselves. It’s true, I suppose. Writers, writing on writing then is my genre, and perhaps yours, too. On occasion we’re treated to a category killer anthology that captures the best work of the year entitled The Best American Essays. Edited for 2010 by Christopher Hitchens, over one-third of the book’s selections are indeed writers, writing on writing. A literary feast for $14.95; what could be more American than that?
Where in the past this literary treasure chest has tilted toward the dreaded “nature writing,” or urbanites taking to the farm, or even the lost travelers lost in Europe, the 2010 edition rather nicely avoids such calamites, though not entirely. Phillip Lopate does a wonderful job with his piece “Brooklyn the Unknowable,” which first appeared in the Harvard Review, but of course it’s not so much travel writing as remembering his “hometown.” In fact, his essay begins with a description of the municipality as a “cradle of literary genius.”...