Book Essays

A US Naval Academy graduate, he has been a naval officer, a nuclearengineer, an expatriate businessman living in Hong Kong, a corporate vice president, and a stay-at-home-dad.His work has appeared in and elsewhere, and have been nominated nine times for the Pushcart Prize.

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He grew up in Utah and currently lives in Forest Park, Illinois.

These essays, and their narrator, wouldn’t shake from me after I read them. She is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Saint Leo University, where she is on faculty in the low-residency MA program in Creative Writing. Visit her online at is a compelling coming-of-age memoir that opens in the blue-collar city of Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1974, when the six-year-old protagonist, shuffled among various caretakers, first hears the word “Watergate.” It chronicles her adventures, misadventures, shifting perspectives, and gradual loss of innocence during the tumultuous 1970s and ’80s.” Kirsti Anne Sandy teaches creative nonfiction, memoir, and narrative theory at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire, where her students inspire and motivate her every day.

While brevity usually defines an essay, voluminous works like John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Thomas Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population are counterexamples.

In some countries (e.g., the United States and Canada), essays have become a major part of formal education.

The Frenchman Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592) was the first author to describe his work as essays; he used the term to characterize these as "attempts" to put his thoughts into writing, and his essays grew out of his commonplacing.

Inspired in particular by the works of Plutarch, a translation of whose Œuvres Morales (Moral works) into French had just been published by Jacques Amyot, Montaigne began to compose his essays in 1572; the first edition, entitled Essais, was published in two volumes in 1580.

He notes that "the essay is a literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything", and adds that "by tradition, almost by definition, the essay is a short piece".

Furthermore, Huxley argues that "essays belong to a literary species whose extreme variability can be studied most effectively within a three-poled frame of reference".

Ben Jonson first used the word essayist in English in 1609, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

English essayists included Robert Burton (1577–1641) and Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682).

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