Each year a guest editor works with a group of high school students out of 826 San Francisco and 826 Michigan to select the year’s best new fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, and category-defying gems aimed at readers age fifteen and up.
In a small but comfortable conference room, in a publishing house in San Francisco, a group of high school students met weekly over the past year to read literary magazines, chapbooks, graphic novels, and countless articles. They had some good times. There was a whiteboard in the conference room, and often cartoons were drawn on this whiteboard. The cartoons were of varying quality. By the end of the year, with the help of a similar committee of high school students in Ann Arbor, and their guest editor, Rachel Kushner, they selected the contents of this anthology. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 features stories about Bulgarian spaceships, psychedelic mushroom therapy, and a cyclorama in Iowa. If you don’t know what a cyclorama is, you aren’t alone. Read on to find out.
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 includes N. R. KLEINFIELD, ANNA KOVATCHEVA, DAN HOY, ANTHONY MARRA, MICHAEL POLLAN, MARILYNNE ROBINSON, DANA SPIOTTA, ADRIAN TOMINE, INARA VERZEMNIEKS and others
Rachel Kushner, guest editor, is the author of The Flamethrowers, which was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award and one of the New York Times’s top five novels of 2013. Kushner’s debut novel, Telex from Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, a winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book.
“An eclectic collection chosen by a committee of San Francisco area high school students and brimming with wonderful short stories, journalism, interviews and poetry.”—TAMPA BAY TIMES
"A wealth of strong material makes The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 valuable reading."—POPMATTERS
"What they have given us is a gift.... One wonders how the world might be different if works in Best American Nonrequired Reading were indeed required."
“A wide-ranging collection of civic-minded, literary, entertaining reads.” —BOOKLIST
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