10 Contemporary American Essayists to Read Right Now

A look at some of today's most talented writers

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This week marks the release of celebrated novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson's newest collection of essays, When I Was a Child I Read Books. We've been excited about this book for a while now.

Great as it is, Robinson's collection only whet our appetites for more essays by contemporary writers, so in case it does the same for you, we've put together a list of contemporary essayists we think everyone should be reading right now (or, you know, whenever you finish watching Downton Abbey). We've tried to stick to authors who are still alive—so David Foster Wallace and Christopher Hitchens are off the table, though they both would have made this list with flying colors were they still with us—and limited ourselves to American writers, but even with those caveats, there is enough in these writers' oeuvres to keep you up and thinking for weeks on end.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Emily Temple is an editor at Flavorpill.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

Just In