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editor's introduction by Phillip Lopate

essay: Les Tres Riches Heures de Martha Stewart

  This fall, Anchor Books proudly inaugurates an annual essay series, a mate to Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, now in its eighth decade. With generous selections from over twenty-five writers from around the world, The Anchor Essay Annual: The Best of 1997 is just the first in what is sure to become a series widely anticipated and highly acclaimed, every October for years to come.

Acclaimed essayist Phillip Lopate has selected the most surprising and exquisite essays published in the past twelve months. Bringing together material from both periodicals and books, he has included essays never before published, as well as translated essays from abroad. The resulting body of work is as rich and unique as it is cosmopolitan.

In her brilliantly frank "Revelation," Mary Gaitskill recounts the religious epiphany that changed her life. Hilton Als explores the "negressity" of his soul in "My Pin-Up." In his dazzling "The Laying Off of Desire," Jean Baudrillard sets forth a flamboyant dissection of human sexuality. And Margaret Talbot's hilarious deconstruction of the cult of Martha, "Les Très Heures de Martha Stewart" is pure fun.

In this issue of Bold Type, we're pleased to offer Phillip Lopate's ode to the essay, as well as Margaret Talbot's soon-to-be-classic look at the über-homemaker, Martha Stewart.

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Photo of Phillip Lopate © copyright Jill Krementz
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