This week we’re talking about this year’s edition of Best American Essays. We compare it to previous years (spoiler: this one is a bummer), discuss the new subgenre of pandemic essays, and focus on a few selections from the anthology. Also: David makes us a pandemic cocktail, Justin’s dog makes a few barky cameos, we (well, one of us) question the entire Best American Essays enterprise, and we do a year-end lightning news/round. See you next year!
(Note: we don’t mention Joan Didion’s death because it occurred the morning after we recorded, but if you’d like to hear some of our previous thoughts on Didion, we did an episode about her latest book earlier this year: http://www.essaypodcast.com/s3-e2-didion-on-writing/)
Some things we mention:
Best American Essays 2021:
Assay’s interview with Robert Atwan, the series editor of Best American Essays:
Alexander Chee’s link to BAE 2022 submission guidelines: