Harvey, Kerstetter Essays Chosen for Reprint in Best American Essays 2013
By Dan LehmanApril 18, 2013
Two essays first published in River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative Volume 13, Number 2 will be featured in Best American Essays 2013, the long-running series published by Houghton Mifflin Books and edited by Robert Atwan. Steven Harvey's essay, "The Book of Knowledge" and Jon Kerstetter's essay, "Triage" will appear in BAE 2013, scheduled for an October 2013 release.
Bestselling author Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail), the guest editor of the 2013 Best American Essays, chose Harvey's and Kerstetter's work from among the many hundreds of entries that Atwan and she reviewed this year.
That River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative contributed two of only twenty-five pieces published in Best American Essays 2013 cements the journal's reputation at the forefront of literary magazines published in the United States.
Steven Harvey's essay, "The Book of Knowledge," is the opening chapter of his memoir in progress, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder, which concerns the suicide of his mother in 1961, when Harvey was 11 years old. The Young Harris College and Ashland University MFA faculty member subsequently discovered 406 letters his mother had left behind and embarked on a writing project that he says "has the feel of a detective story. Before I read the letters, my mother had become little more than her death to me, but while writing her story I discovered a woman who, despite her vulnerability to depression, had a large capacity for wonder and a love of familiar things, legacies that she passed on to me."
Jon Kerstetter's "Triage" concerns his experience as a combat physician in Iraq on the day that Major General Jon Gallinetti, U.S. Marine Corps, accompanied him on late-night clinical rounds. "The general laid his hand on the expectant soldier’s leg—the leg whose strength I imagined was drifting like a shape-shifting cloud moving against a dark umber sky—strength retreating into a time before it carried a soldier," Kerstetter writes. "And I watched the drifting of a man back into the womb of his mother, toward a time when a leg was not a leg, a body not a body, toward a time when a soldier was only the laughing between two young lovers—a man and a woman who could never imagine that a leg-body-man-soldier would one day lie expectant and that that soldier would be their son." Jon is a 2011 graduate of the Ashland University MFA Program, home of River Teeth.
Congratulations to both Jon Kerstetter and Steven Harvey!
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