Monday, October 20, 2008


Best New American Essays 2008

I just learned that my essay, "Letter from a Japanese Crematorium," was cited as a "distinguished essay" in the 2008 Best New American Essays. The volume was edited by Adam Gopnik. I was also pleased to see that Lia Purpura, whose essay "The Lustres" appeared in the same volume as mine, has also been specially noted.

To read the essays chosen for the actual award, you can pick up a copy of the collection here or here.

Once I finish edits on my novel, I'm hoping to spend a little bit more time with nonfiction. Before I wrote this essay, I had no idea that I could actually write something other than stories, and it's been nice to find out about another outlet for writing. And, obviously, every writer needs a little ego boost now and then; so much of our time is spent in a vacuum. So, thank you.

I'm late posting this but not in reading your essay - I subscribe to AGNI and when Maud described your essay and linked to it first I read it online and later in the volume. Really excellent, weirdly memorable (and I mean weird in the best possible meaning of the word - to an American of Anglo/Euro descent the customs were wonderfully different, though the human motivations were, of course, universal). Great job, congratulations well deserved.
Marla--I'm so flattered that you thought enough of the essay to leave me a note. Most of the time I feel that I work in a vacuum and it's very rare to actually connect with someone over something that I have done. So thanks so much for your kind words and your lovely comment(s)!
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