Home > 2008-2009 books, Author of color, Author of European descent, From: library, Genre: Short stories, Library: Northborough Public Library > 41. “The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003” 3, edited by Zadie Smith

41. “The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003” 3, edited by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith edits this one. It showed me the difference an editor makes in anthologies like this. In her introduction, she talks about coming to the US for the first time and being surprised by the US brand of journalism. She reflects that, as a writer, she can always tell when writers are being literary and it makes her “want to scream”. Therefore, she really appreciates anything that is or purports to be true (xxvii-xxviii).

I can see this thread throughout the stories she selected. They all have a sort of journalistic feel to them. It’s hard to pin down, but most of them seem to be the writer narrating (lots of first person). She also selected a number of pieces by people of color and people writing about adolescents, both of which I like, because I think they are often underrepresented in anthologies. Even Dave Eggers’ intro to this edition says that they don’t know for whom they are compiling these books– they thought teenagers with the first one, but it turned out that that’s not really true.

Page count: 363
Page total: 19,225

(I’m listing this one out of order. I finished it on the eighth.)

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