The Best American Essays: 2017, ed. Leslie Jamison, 2018
One of the best collections in years, Jamison has written a superb introduction (emphasis on the ‘encounter’ between the essayist and the topic) and group of essays. One of the ‘young, new editors’, Jamison, the author of the Empathy Exams, chose 20 essays and only two of the authors were previously known to me. Very heavy, serious topics including rape, PTSD in an Iraq War vet, the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, conditions in a Palestinian refugee camp, bankruptcy due to an emergency room visit, an actor’s cerebral palsy, a Zimbabwean man’s attempts to raise money to come to college in the US, a brother’s death from alcoholism, West Virginian mining disaster lost in history, the disposition of a homeless man’s body in Broward County, a woman fleeing domestic abuse, an uncle’s heroin addiction, a father’s transvestitism, the feminist porno industry in SF, anti-smoking campaigns as anti-poor people efforts, and fear of snakes—-Yikes, relentlessly depressing but oh so powerfully written. Hats off to Anton and Jamison for putting together a collection that our times cry out for.