State by State

A Panoramic Portrait of America

Book - 2008
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
State by State
The editors of The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup collects original writings on all fifty states by leading novelists, journalists, and essayists, in a volume that includes such examples as Anthony Bourdain on New Jersey, Dave Eggers on Illinois, and Louise Erdrich on North Dakota.

Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, c2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061470905
Characteristics: xxxi, 572 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill. (some col.), map ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Wilsey, Sean
Weiland, Matt


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Nov 13, 2010
  • andro517 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I thought this was one of the best anthologies I've come across. Some collections of essays/short stories might seem to jump around too much, so that in retrospect one might jumble up details or moods from each source. The 50 essays herein (plus one interview and a couple dozen tables), are sufficiently bound together by the theme of describing something(s) unique about each state that each author can go in his or her own direction with it. So there is wide variation in the balance each gives to historical, current-event or personal narrative elements. The authors might have lived in their state all their lives, grown up and moved away, immigrated there, or only visited in order to write the essay. They are a nicely diverse group, some a little more famous than others, and mostly seem to have Gen-X, This American Life-ish writing styles. Despite coming in at over 500 pages, the book never seems to drag.


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