The Ten Greatest Essays, Ever

Paul Collins

10. Paul La Farge, “Destroy All Monsters”

(from The Believer, September 2006)

9. Ginger Strand, “The Ecology of Empire”

(from The Believer, March 2006)

8. David Foster Wallace, “Consider the Lobster”

(from Gourmet, March 2004)

7. Steven Goss, “A Partial Guide to the Tools of Art Vandalism”

(from Cabinet, #1, Summer 2001)

6. Nicholson Baker, “Books as Furniture”

(from The Size of Thoughts, 1996)

5. Jeffrey Steingarten, “Staying Alive”

(from The Man Who Ate Everything, 1997)

4. Susan Orlean, “On Display”

(from The New Yorker, December 7, 1987)

3. Joseph Mitchell, “Hit on the Head with a Cow”

(from Up in the Old Hotel, 1938)

2. Andrew Wynter, “A Day with the Coroner”

(from Subtle Brains and Lissom Fingers, 1859)

1. Francis T. (“Frank) Buckland, “Performing Fleas”

(from Our Household Insects: An Account of the Insect-Pests Found in Dwelling Houses, 1893)

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About Paul Collins

Paul Collins is the author of four highly popular, impeccably researched, wonderfully funny and always touching books of nonfiction, including Sixpence House, Banvard’s Folly, Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism, and most recently The Trouble with Tom, an account of the disappearance and posthumous adventures of Thomas Paine’s body. He is the editor of the Collins Library, an imprint at McSweeney’s Books, and a regular guest on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday. His work has been anthologized in The Norton Reader, Bookmark Now, and The Rough Guide to Rock, and regularly appears in The Village Voice, The Believer, Cabinet, and Slate. He teaches creative writing at Portland State University.