Updated: May 11, 2021
We’ve noticed a resurgence of interest in essays the past few years. Ross Gay, Rachel Cusk, Jia Tolentino and others have published interesting works. We promise there won't be a test on these recent essay collections that caught our eye.
Homo Irrealis by André Aciman
One of the great prose stylists of his generation, André Aciman returns to the essay form in Homo Irrealis to explore what time means to artists who cannot grasp life in the present.
The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000 - 2020 by Rachel Kushner
In nineteen razor-sharp essays, The Hard Crowd spans literary journalism, memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about art and literature, including pieces on Jeff Koons, Denis Johnson, and Marguerite Duras.
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives.
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
Gleaming with Tolentino's sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet.
Coventry by Rachel Cusk
Coventry encompasses memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about literature, with pieces on family life, gender, and politics, and on D. H. Lawrence, Françoise Sagan, and Elena Ferrante.
White Magic by Elissa Washuta
In this collection of intertwined essays, Washuta writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch.