A “Best American” bridesmaid again

Ever since my story Storming ‘The Beach’ appeared as a main selection in Best American Travel Writing 2000 (which was edited by Bill Bryson) I’ve become mildly obsessed with the annual release of the Best American anthologies. And, since 2000, I’ve never quite made it into the main selections again. In 2001, three of my Salon stories were listed in the “Notable Travel Writing” section of the anthology, but Paul Theroux (the editor that year) didn’t pick any of them for the main selection. In 2002, with Frances Mayes at the helm, my World Hum story landed another honorable mention.

This year, Ian Frazier edited the Best American Travel Writing 2003 anthology, and it looks like a great one. The likes of William Vollmann, Christopher Hitchens, Geoff Dyer, Tom Clynes, Tom Bissell, and Patrick Symmes made the main selection — but it was encouraging to see a host of less familiar names appearing for the first time (including Emily Maloney, who gave World Hum its first big appearance in the anthology). For the fourth year in a row I made the “Notable Travel Writing” section, this time with my Myanmar adventure tale The Last Archipelago, which appeared in Conde Nast Traveler last July. Of course, even honorable mention is quite a thrill for me, since I was joined in the “bridesmaid” section by folks like P.J. O’Rourke, Maya Angelou, Tim Cahill, Paul Theroux, Bob Shacochis, Peter Hessler, Calvin Trillin, and (what I consider an enlightened decision on the part of editor Jason Wilson) two stories from The Onion.

As I’m leaving on my Land Rover expedition in nine days, I probably won’t have time to read Best American Travel Writing 2003 anytime soon. If you get a chance to read it yourself, let me know what you think.

Posted by | Comments (3)  | October 23, 2003
Category: Rolf's News and Updates

3 Responses to “A “Best American” bridesmaid again”

  1. Kristin Tsuchida Says:

    Storming The Beach was a crack-up–really enjoyed it–keep up the good work.

  2. jim benning Says:

    Your “Last Archipelago” was one of the best stories I read last year.

    If I don’t talk to you before you leave, have a great trip down south. It sounds like a great adventure!

  3. Lee Johnson Says:

    I am desperately trying to find Doda. His host mother died under tragic circumstances. Our family misses him very much and would like to contact him. If you can, please help us Kristin. I wish you the best.

    Lee and Tommy Johnson