|Jonathan Franzen, ed. Robert Atwan, series ed.|
|Pages/Publication Date:||327 / 2016|
A true essay is "something hazarded, not definitive, not authoritative; something ventured on the basis of the author's personal experience and subjectivity," writes guest editor Jonathan Franzen, yet his main criterion for selecting the 23 essays here was, in a word, risk. Whether risking a professional career, championing an unpopular opinion, or irrevocably offending family, for Franzen, "the writer has to be like the firefighter, whose job, while everyone else is fleeing the flames, is to run straight into them." The collection includes writing by Alexander Chee, Paul Crenshaw, Jaquira Díaz, Laura Kipnis, Amitava Kumar, Sebastian Junger, Joyce Carol Oates, and Oliver Sacks.