The Ten Greatest Essays, Ever

Scott Russell Sanders

James Baldwin, “Notes of a Native Son”

(from Notes of a Native Son, 1955)

Wendell Berry, “The Long-Legged House”

(from The Long-Legged House, 1971)

Annie Dillard, “Intricacy”

(from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 1974)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance”

(from Essays, 1841)

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

(from The Atlantic Monthly as “The Negro is Your Brother,” 1963)

Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard

(from Penguin, 1978)

Michel de Montaigne, “Of Vanity”

(from Essais, 1588)

George Orwell, “Such, Such Were the Joys”

(from Selected Essays, 1952)

Henry David Thoreau, “Economy”

(from Walden, 1854)

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

(from Hogarth Press, 1929)

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About Scott Russell Sanders

Scott Russell Sanders is the author of nineteen books, including seven novels, three children’s collections, and eight works of essay, including the highly acclaimed The Paradise of Bombs, Stone Country, A Private History of Awe, Secrets of the Universe, In Limestone Country, Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World, and The Force of Spirit, which won the 2000 John Burroughs Natural History Award. Among his many other honors is a Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Mark Twain Award from the Society for the Study of Miderwestern Literature. Frequently anthologized in The Best American Essays series, Sanders teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he lives.