Download and read online Pulphead in PDF and EPUB John Jeremiah Sullivan takes us on a funhouse hall-of-mirrors ride through the other side of America - to the Ozarks for a Christian rock festival; to Florida to meet the straggling refugees of MTV's Real World; to Indiana to investigate the formative years of Michael Jackson and Axl Rose and then to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina - and back again as its residents confront the BP oil spill. Simultaneously channeling the gonzo energy of Hunter S. Thompson and the wit and insight of Joan Didion, Sullivan - with a laidback, erudite Southern charm that's all his own - shows us how America really (no, really) lives now.
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Download and read online The Best American Essays 2014 in PDF and EPUB “A creature from an alternative universe . . . wanting to understand what is on the American mind should rush to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy of this distinguished anthology . . . Exhilarating.” — Publishers Weekly The Best American Essays 2014 is selected and introduced by John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of the critically acclaimed essay collection Pulphead. The New York Times placed Sullivan “among the best young nonfiction writers in English” and the New York Times Book Review heralded Pulphead as “the best, and most important, collection of magazine writing since Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.”
Download and read online Blood Horses in PDF and EPUB One evening late in his life, veteran sportswriter Mike Sullivan was asked by his son what he remembered best from his three decades in the press box. The answer came as a surprise. 'I was at Secretariat's Derby, in '73. That was ... just beauty, you know?' John Jeremiah Sullivan didn't know, not really, but he spent two years finding out, journeying from prehistoric caves to the Kentucky Derby. The result is Blood Horses, a wise, humorous and often beautiful memoir exploring the relationship between man and horse and the relationship between a sportswriter’s son and his late father.
Download and read online Loitering in PDF and EPUB Charles D'Ambrosio's essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have pressed it upon their friends, students, and colleagues, only to find themselves begging for their copy's safe return. For anyone familiar with D'Ambrosio's writing, this enthusiasm should come as no surprise. His work is exacting and emotionally generous, often as funny as it is devastating. Loitering gathers those eleven original essays with new and previously uncollected work so that a broader audience might discover one of the world's great living essayists. No matter his subject - Native American whaling, a Pentecostal 'hell house', Mary Kay Letourneau, the work of J. D. Salinger, or, most often, his own family - D'Ambrosio approaches each piece with a singular voice and point of view; each essay, while unique and surprising, is unmistakably his own. Charles D'Ambrosio is the author of two collections of short stories, The Point (a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award) and The Dead Fish Museum (a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award), as well as the essay collection Orphans. His work has appeared frequently in the New Yorker, as well as in Tin House, the Paris Review, Zoetrope All-Story, A Public Space, and Story. D'Ambrosio has been the recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and a USA Rasmuson Fellowship. He lives in Portland, Oregon. '[D'Ambrosio] is one of the strongest, smartest and most literate essayists practicing today.' New York Times 'What I admired most about these essays is the way each one takes its own shape, never conforming to an expected narrative or feeling the need to answer all the questions housed within. D’Ambrosio allows his essays their ambivalence.' Millions 'An exciting essay collection because it takes ideas and heady, essayistic topics—whales, hell houses, the overused, wheezing corpse of J.D. Salinger—and it manages to make something new out of them...Every one is a pleasure, diamond-cut and sharp in its incisive observations on how to be a human.' Flavorwire 'This careful dance of high and low, of timing, circumspection, and room for nuance—and the disarming honesty—make it clear that D'Ambrosio knows how to write a good essay, but what makes the collection great is his vast, almost painfully acute sense of compassion...it delivers that most primal pleasure of reading—the feeling of being understood, of not being alone.' NPR 'This powerful collection highlights D'Ambrosio's ability to mine his personal history for painful truths about the frailty of family and the strange quest to understand oneself, and in turn, be understood.' Publishers Weekly 'Charles D'Ambrosio's essays are excitingly good. They are relevant in the way that makes you read them out loud, to anyone who happens to be around. Absolutely accessible and incredibly intelligent, his work is an astounding relief - as though someone is finally trying to puzzle all the disparate, desperate pieces of the world together again.' Jill Owens, Powell's 'His essays are expansive in scope and in spirit...D'Ambrosio is a writer with an unusual combination of qualities: penetrating, critical powers and a lyrical, almost hypnotic, prose style. He’s an expert a capturing the strangeness of familiar things.' Weekend Australian 'He's funny, insightful, intimate and inquiring.' The Paperback Bookshop ‘This volume of the collected essays and journalism of Charles D'Ambrosio shows what pleasure is to be had when a first-class writer is given their head and space to roam...[D'Ambrosio] is self-conscious in his responses, both intellectual and emotional, so that there is a kind of architectural honesty about his writing. You can see the pulleys and levers and exactly what makes him tick.’ New Zealand Herald
Download and read online Shame and Wonder in PDF and EPUB For fans of John Jeremiah Sullivan, Leslie Jamison, Geoff Dyer, and W. G. Sebald, the twenty-one essays in David Searcy’s debut collection are captivating, daring—and completely unlike anything else you’ve read before. Forging connections between the sublime and the mundane, this is a work of true grace, wisdom, and joy. Expansive in scope but deeply personal in perspective, the pieces in Shame and Wonder are born of a vast, abiding curiosity, one that has led David Searcy into some strange and beautiful territory, where old Uncle Scrooge comic books reveal profound truths, and the vastness of space becomes an expression of pure love. Whether ruminating on an old El Camino pickup truck, those magical prizes lurking in the cereal boxes of our youth, or a lurid online ad for “Sexy Girls Near Dallas,” Searcy brings his unique blend of affection and suspicion to the everyday wonders that surround and seduce us. In “Nameless,” he ruminates on spirituality and the fate of an unknown tightrope walker who falls to his death in Texas in the 1880s, buried as a local legend but without a given name. “The Hudson River School” weaves together Google Maps, classical art, and dental hygiene into a story that explores—with exquisite humor and grace—the seemingly impossible angles at which our lives often intersect. And in “An Enchanted Tree Near Fredericksburg,” countless lovers carve countless hearts into the gnarled trunk of an ancient oak tree, leaving their marks to be healed, lifted upward, and, finally, absorbed. Haunting, hilarious, and full of longing, Shame and Wonder announces the arrival of David Searcy as an essential and surprising new voice in American writing. Praise for Shame and Wonder “Astonishment is a quality central to David Searcy’s Shame and Wonder. . . . What unites these twenty-one essays . . . is the sense of a wildly querying intelligence suspended in a state of awe. . . . Searcy is drawn instinctively to moments, the way parcels of time expand and contract in memory, conjuring from ordinary experience a hidden sense of all that is extraordinary in the world, in being alive.”—The New York Times Book Review “A lovely implicit argument for a particular orientation toward the world: continuous awe and wonder . . . Everywhere, David Searcy finds the strange and marvelous in careful examination of the quotidian.”—NPR “Peculiar and lively . . . Like a down-home Roland Barthes, [Searcy’s] quirky observations and sudden narrative turns remind us of the strangeness we miss every day.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune “Often nostalgic and whimsical . . . brings to life the shadows of our kaleidoscopic world.”—The Dallas Morning News “What makes Searcy such a master storyteller is that he is a master observer, sharing his vision through essays that read like exquisitely crafted short stories.”—San Francisco Chronicle “In twenty-one captivatingly offbeat essays, Searcy finds the exceptional in the everyday . . . and contemplates the mysteries therein with grace and eloquence.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “A collection of essays laced with wisdom and beauty.”—Paste “Slyly brilliant—a self-deprecatory look at life in all its weirdness.”—Austin American-Statesman “A work of genius—a particular kind of genius, to be sure.”—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk From the Hardcover edition.
Download and read online The Correspondence in PDF and EPUB The first collection from a Whiting Writers’ Award winner whose work has become a fixture of The Paris Review and n+1 Can civilization save us from ourselves? That is the question J. D. Daniels asks in his first book, a series of six letters written during dark nights of the soul. Working from his own highly varied experience—as a janitor, a night watchman, an adjunct professor, a drunk, an exterminator, a dutiful son—he considers how far books and learning and psychoanalysis can get us, and how much we’re stuck in the mud. In prose wound as tight as a copper spring, Daniels takes us from the highways of his native Kentucky to the Balearic Islands and from the Pampas of Brazil to the rarefied precincts of Cambridge, Massachusetts. His traveling companions include psychotic kindergarten teachers, Israeli sailors, and Southern Baptists on fire for Christ. In each dispatch, Daniels takes risks—not just literary (voice, tone, form) but also more immediate, such as spending two years on a Brazilian jiu-jitsu team (he gets beaten to a pulp, repeatedly) or participating in group psychoanalysis (where he goes temporarily insane). Daniels is that rare thing, a writer completely in earnest whose wit never deserts him, even in extremis. Inventive, intimate, restless, streetwise, and erudite, The Correspondence introduces a brave and original observer of the inner life under pressure.
Download and read online I Am Sorry To Think I Have Raised A Timid Son in PDF and EPUB Kent Russell's essays take him to society's ragged edges - the places where savagery and civilization collide. Perhaps among the misfits and the misunderstood - the losers, the hardcore, the alarming, the crazed, the downright frightening - he can find a way to reconcile his uneasy adult desires and his deepest childhood demons. He goes 'horrorcore' at a four-day music festival in Illinois. He spends a long weekend getting drunk with a man who claims he has conditioned his body to withstand the bites of the most venomous snakes. He finds a castaway on a tiny atoll off the coast of Australia. He explores the Amish obsession with baseball. Bristling with violence, tragedy and humour and wit, I Am Sorry To Think I Have Raised A Timid Son is a raw personal journey and an unforgettable portrait of masculinity in our time, by a ferociously brilliant and distinctive young voice in literary nonfiction.
Download and read online Consider The Lobster in PDF and EPUB Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a sick sense of humour? What is John Updike's deal anyway? And who won the Adult Video News' Female Performer of the Year Award the same year Gwyneth Paltrow won her Oscar? David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in his new book of hilarious non-fiction. For this collection, David Foster Wallace immerses himself in the three-ring circus that is the presidential race in order to document one of the most vicious campaigns in recent history. Later he strolls from booth to booth at a lobster festival in Maine and risks life and limb to get to the bottom of the lobster question. Then he wheedles his way into an L.A. radio studio, armed with tubs of chicken, to get the behind-the-scenes view of a conservative talkshow featuring a host with an unnatural penchant for clothing that only looks good on the radio. In what is sure to be a much-talked-about exploration of distinctly modern subjects, one of the sharpest minds of our time delves into some of life's most delicious topics.
Download and read online How to Ruin Everything in PDF and EPUB A New York Times Bestseller "Funny, subversive, and able to excavate such brutally honest sentences that you find yourself nodding your head in wonder and recognition." —Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer and lyricist of In the Heights and Hamilton: An American Musical Are you a sensible, universally competent individual? Are you tired of the crushing monotony of leaping gracefully from one lily pad of success to the next? Are you sick of doing everything right? In this brutally honest and humorous debut, musician and artist George Watsky chronicles the small triumphs over humiliation that make life bearable and how he has come to accept defeat as necessary to personal progress. The essays in How to Ruin Everything range from the absurd (how he became an international ivory smuggler) to the comical (his middle-school rap battle dominance) to the revelatory (his experiences with epilepsy), yet all are delivered with the type of linguistic dexterity and self-awareness that has won Watsky devoted fans across the globe. Alternately ribald and emotionally resonant, How to Ruin Everything announces a versatile writer with a promising career ahead. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Download and read online Cat Is Art Spelled Wrong in PDF and EPUB "Coffee House Press, a major nonprofit publisher, recently launched a Kickstarter for a book examining the Internet's cat video fetish. The book, if the Kickstarter campaign reaches its $25,000 goal, will be titled Cat is Art Spelled Wrong, and examine themes like what makes something art, whether art is good or bad, and how taste develops. In other words, cat videos can actually be . . . pretty serious."—The Washington Post "Coffee House Press one-ups all boring Kickstarter campaigns with Catstarter, a campaign to fund a book on cat videos."—The Millions "Coffee House Press's upcoming book, titled Cat is Art Spelled Wrong, takes the opportunity to examine a seemingly irrelevant subject from new perspectives—from 'the line is between reality/self on the internet' to 'how cat videos demonstrate either that nothing matters, or that any art matters if anyone thinks it does.' Thus, it's an earnest attempt to uncover more about human nature—especially in today's internet-driven world."—Cool Hunting Fifteen writers, all addressing not just our fascination with cat videos, but also how we decide what is good or bad art, or art at all; how taste develops, how that can change, and why we love or hate something. It's about people and technology and just what it is about cats that makes them the internet's cutest despots. Contributors include: Sasha Archibald, Will Braden, Stephen Burt, Maria Bustillos, David Carr, Matthea Harvey, Alexis Madrigal, Joanne McNeil, Ander Monson, Kevin Nguyen, Elena Passarello, Jillian Steinhauer, Sarah Schultz, and Carl Wilson.
Download and read online String Theory David Foster Wallace on Tennis in PDF and EPUB An instant classic of American sportswriting--the tennis essays of David Foster Wallace, "the best mind of his generation" (A. O. Scott) and "the best tennis-writer of all time" (New York Times) Both a onetime "near-great junior tennis player" and a lifelong connoisseur of the finer points of the game, David Foster Wallace wrote about tennis with the authority of an insider, the showmanship of a literary pyrotechnician, and disarming admiration of an irrepressible fan. Including his masterful profiles of Roger Federer and Tracy Austin, String Theory gathers Wallace's five famous essays on tennis, pieces that have been hailed by sportswriters and literary critics alike as some of the greatest and most innovative magazine writing in recent memory. Whiting-Award winning journalist John Jeremiah Sullivan provides an introduction.
Download and read online The Way the World Works in PDF and EPUB Nicholson Baker, who “writes like no one else in America” (Newsweek), here assembles his best short pieces from the last fifteen years. The Way the World Works, Baker’s second nonfiction collection, ranges over the map of life to examine what troubles us, what eases our pain, and what brings us joy. Baker moves from political controversy to the intimacy of his own life, from forgotten heroes of pacifism to airplane wings, telephones, paper mills, David Remnick, Joseph Pulitzer, the OED, and the manufacture of the Venetian gondola. He writes about kite string and about the moment he met his wife, and he surveys our fascination with video games while attempting to beat his teenage son at Modern Warfare 2. In a celebrated essay on Wikipedia, Baker describes his efforts to stem the tide of encyclopedic deletionism; in another, he charts the rise of e-readers; in a third he chronicles his Freedom of Information lawsuit against the San Francisco Public Library. Through all these pieces, many written for The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The American Scholar, Baker shines the light of an inexpugnable curiosity. The Way the World Works is a keen-minded, generous-spirited compendium by a modern American master.
Download and read online Why Teach in PDF and EPUB Mark Edmundson's essays reclaim college not as the province of high-priced tuition, career training, and interactive online courses, but as the place where serious people go to broaden their minds and learn to live the rest of their lives. A renowned professor of English at the University of Virginia, Edmundson has felt firsthand the pressure on colleges to churn out a productive, high-caliber workforce for the future. Yet in these essays, many of which have run in places such as Harper's and the New York Times, he reminds us that there is more to education than greater productivity. With prose exacting yet expansive, tough-minded yet optimistic, Edmundson argues forcefully that the liberal arts are more important today than ever, and a necessary remedy for our troubled times. Why Teach? is brimming with the wisdom and inspiration that make learning possible.
Download and read online Magic Hours in PDF and EPUB In Magic Hours, award-winning essayist Tom Bissell explores the highs and lows of the creative process. He takes us from the set of The Big Bang Theory to the first novel of Ernest Hemingway to the final work of David Foster Wallace; from the films of Werner Herzog to the film of Tommy Wiseau to the editorial meeting in which Paula Fox's work was relaunched into the world. Originally published in magazines such as The Believer, The New Yorker, and Harper's, these essays represent ten years of Bissell's best writing on every aspect of creation—be it Iraq War documentaries or video-game character voices—and will provoke as much thought as they do laughter. What are sitcoms for exactly? Can art be both bad and genius? Why do some books survive and others vanish? Bissell's exploration of these questions make for gripping, unforgettable reading.