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Monday, January 8, 2007
More on American Scholar
Regarding Josh's appreciation of the new, Robert Wilson-edited American Scholar -- well, he's been in place two years -- I would take non-aggressive issue. Fadiman, a woman with a charming authorial voice, brought a great taste in prose to editing the magazine. Style reigned, and her fairly constant focus was on a certain kind of highbrow personal essay, with a hint of scholarship underlying most pieces. What was laudable about that is that no other magazine does it, really. Everyone seems to love the occasional personal essay in the New Yorker -- a family essay, a Sedaris bit, an essay on a wife's miscarriage (the last, by Daniel Raeburn, is well worth digging up). And yet no magazine really focuses on the genre, despite the recent success of memoir as a book-length project.
One of Fadiman's find was a young writer of extraordinary powers named Adam Goodheart. Another, apparently, was Brian Doyle -- not the Yankee second baseman of the '70s but a consistent American Scholar contributor who showed up elsewhere quite rarely. Where can I find him now? He seems to have parted ways with The AS, as nearly the entire staff did, in protest, when Fadiman was unseated.