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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007

From "Q & A" by Dave Eggers A group of senators and assemblypersons were pressing The Best American Nonrequired Reading on a number of questions relating to the collection, so we decided to kill that stone in the shape of an introduction in the shape of a Q & A.

Who are they, the Nonrequired committee's members who decide on things in this collection?
They are high school students from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.

Are they touched by some kind of divine light?
The question is a good one. There is rampant speculation on the subject.

Are they all great-looking and charming and well dressed?
Yes. All of them, and especially Felicia Wong, who can even make her own clothes.

I have a question about the process by which the entries in this collection are chosen. Is it scientific?
The process by which The Best American Nonrequired Reading is put together is not scientific. It is whatever one would consider the opposite of scientific.

Well, no, it's not creationist either. The point is that we are probably a bit less top-to-bottom thorough than, say, the Army Corps of Engineers. Well, actually, scratch that. We are probably about exactly as thorough as the Army Corps of Engineers, in that we are intermittently thorough.

What is your opinion and the committee's opinion of the state of short stories and small magazines and other periodicals?
This is a good time. It really is.

More specifically?
Not all of us Americans appreciate the fact that we have about 150 very good quarterlies in this country. Every state seems to have a very good quarterly, and about a hundred colleges have very good quarterlies -- from the Kenyon Review to the University of Illinois's Ninth Letter. So by our estimate there are about 150 very good quarterlies in this country. Maybe more. Now, the thing we don't always appreciate here in America is that elsewhere in the world there are few to no quarterlies.

How does it feel to select something for the collection that you found in an unlikely place?
It feels so good. This year, for example, at the last moment we found "Humpies" by Mattox Roesch. It was published by Agni Online, and we all loved it, and here it is, ideally able to reach a new audience. We all took pleasure in finding that one; the mandate of the committee is to find the offbeat and the lesser-known and bring these pieces to our readers, most of whom have great skin and bad eyes.




2 available at Main (Downtown)
  • 810.08 Bes, Nonfiction
  • 810.08 Bes, Nonfiction

Publish Date




Format: Book
Title: The best American nonrequired reading 2007 / edited by Dave Eggers ; introduction by Sufjan Stevens.
Publisher Date: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
Subject: American prose literature -- 21st century. Short stories, American American wit and humor -- 21st century.
Isbn: 0618902767 9780618902767 9780618902811 (pbk.) 0618902813 (pbk.)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 2
System Items Total: 2
Call Number: 810.08 Bes
Oclc: 156812920
Bib Id: 281052

Format: Book
Title: The best American nonrequired reading 2007 / edited by Dave Eggers ; introduction by Sufjan Stevens.
Publisher, Date: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
Description: xvii, 353 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Series: The best American series
Series: Best American series
Subjects: American prose literature -- 21st century.
Subjects: Short stories, American
Subjects: American wit and humor -- 21st century.
Other Author: Eggers, Dave
Other Author: Stevens, Sufjan
Other Title: Nonrequired reading 2007
Contents: Introduction / Sufjan Stevens -- Q & A / Dave Eggers -- Best American names for horses expected to have undistinguished careers / Mike Richardson-Bryan -- Best American beginnings of ten stories about ponies -- Best American first sentences of novels published in 2006 -- Best American new brand names -- Best American six-word memoirs -- Best American personals from around the world -- Best American article titles from the best American trade magazines -- Best American creationist explanations for the world's natural wonders -- Best American new animal plagues / Steve Newman -- Best American failed television pilots -- Best American names of television programs taken to their logical conclusion / Joe O'Neill -- Best American police blotter items -- Middle American gothic / Jonathan Ames -- A happy death / Alison Bechdel -- Ghost children / D. Winston Brown -- Rock the junta / Scott Carrier -- American / Joshua Clark -- What is your dangerous idea / Edge Foundation -- Selling the general / Jennifer Egan -- Where I slept / Stephen Elliot -- Lotería / Kevin A. Gonzáles -- How to tell stories to children / Miranda July -- Adina, Astrid, Chipewee, Jasmine / Matthew Klam -- All aboard the bloated boat : arguments in favor of Barry Bonds / Lee Klein -- Love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice / Nam Le -- Darfur diaries / Jen Marlow, Aisha Bain, and Adam Shapiro -- The big suck : notes from the jarhead underground / David J. Morris -- Stuyvesant High School commencement speech / Conan O'Brian -- Humpies / Mattox Roesch -- So long, anyway / Patrick Somerville -- Literature unnatured / Joy Williams.
ISBN: 0618902767
ISBN: 9780618902767
ISBN: 9780618902811 (pbk.)
ISBN: 0618902813 (pbk.)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 2
Total Copies: 2
Call Number: 810.08 Bes