State by State

State by State

A Panoramic Portrait of America

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
3
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"A funny, moving, rousing collection, greater than the sum of its excellent parts."

--New York Times Book Review

Edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey, State by State is a panoramic portrait of Americaand an appreciation of all fifty states (andWashington,D.C.) by fifty-one of the most acclaimed writers in the nation. Contributors include renowned and bestselling authors such as Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Ann Patchett, Anthony Bourdain, William T. Vollmann, S.E. Hinton, Dave Eggers, Myla Goldberg, Rick Moody, and Alexander Payne. Inspired by the Depression-era WPA guides and awarded an "A" grade by Entertainment Weekly, these delightful essays on the American character deliver "the full plumage of American life, in all its riotous glory" (The New Yorker).

Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061470905
0061470902
Branch Call Number: History 973 STA
Additional Contributors: Weiland, Matt
Wilsey, Sean

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m0k1m3
Nov 18, 2017

Homeschoolers look for help anywhere :-). Read the WA entry to my two grandsons (10/12) for our study of our good state. It was grand - they loved it - laughed and felt 'part of a pod' after. (We looked up a couple of the references on youtube afterwards - for enrichment). It was so enjoyable - I'll check it out again to read the rest.

l
lukasevansherman
Dec 17, 2015

lukas, October 23, 2009
Based on old WPA guides, this clever anthology offers essays on all 50 states, by a variety of writers, journalists, artists and musicians. As expected, the quality varies. The best entries are those that combine the personal with some history of the state and a feel for the people and culture. The worst are ones where boring writers dwell on their boring childhoods. Two of the entries are comics and you wish they would have been more creative in their author choices, which are heavily weighted towards the NPR/This American Life/New Yorker/McSweeney's gang. Should've been accompanied by a CD. Still, worth reading for the best entries.

a
andro517
Nov 13, 2010

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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