I'm pretty excited about this year's Best American Essays 2007 collection. It is 'guest edited' by David Foster Wallace, who I still revere as one of the greatest working writers. He wrote an introduction to the book about the 'editing' process for Best American, which you can read online at the publisher's website: DFW intro.
He spends most of his time discussing the morals of using the term 'best' and the ideas of 'bias' and terms of 'inclusion'. Here are two quotes:
"In sum, to really try to be informed and literate today is to feel stupid nearly all the time, and to need help."
"‘Biased’ is, of course, the really front-loaded term here, the one that I expect Houghton Mifflin winces at and would prefer not to see uttered in the editor’s intro even in the most reassuring context, since the rhetoric of such reassurances can be self-nullifying (as in, say, running a classified ad for oneself as a babysitter and putting ‘don’t worry — not a pedophile!’ at the bottom of the ad). "
I'm excited to see what he's assembled, regardless of how constrained it was, though I'll be surprised if it comes anywhere near THE NEXT AMERICAN ESSAY edited by John D'Agata, which if you are interested in writing essays, you should buy immediately.
On another topic of 'bias,' I was recently unmasked by this blog, who has finally unearthed the secret that I am part of an underground conspiracy of writers who all publish each other.
I found it kind of amusing, mostly in that the author simultaneously wondered (a) why he hasn't published that much and (b) why he hasn't heard of all these 'underground' journals that are linked on this blog.
Little does he know, if you wait long enough, even Zoetrope: All Story will come knocking on your door, begging for a bejeweled nugget of your mind to print on their nihilist secret-handshake papyrus.
Dude, just keep waiting.
Or get some sweet titty implants
then you too can publish a short-short or two on elimae.