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Book Review of The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002
reviewed on + 255 more book reviews

From Booklist
Although the inaugural issue of this hip, eclectic anthology is marketed at 15- to 25-year-olds, the editors are leery of condescending to \"young adults\" (a term they dislike). Series editor Michael Cart goes so far as to deploy self-consciously casual language in his foreword; editor Dave Eggers (author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) mostly replaces the introduction with a memoir of pool-hopping and awkward desire. Earnest posturing aside, this is a strong collection that includes short bursts of reportage, feature writing, fiction, satire, and even a comic strip (Adrian Tomine\'s moving, dead-on teenage portrait \"Bomb Scare\"). Two pieces from The Onion seem a little thin in this context, since they\'re easily outweighed by works like \"The Lost Boys\" (Sara Corbett\'s elegantly direct article about young Sudanese refugees who relocate to Fargo, North Dakota); \"My Fake Job\" (Rodney Rothman\'s hilarious and mostly true report about showing up to work at a dot-com that never hired him); and \"Higher Education\" (Gary Smith\'s rousing, almost too-good-to-be-true account of a black coach in Amish country). Sharp under-25 readers may still flee if they feel they\'re being targeted, but they sure don\'t have to.

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