About The Best American Nonrequired Reading Committee

Our selection committee consists of a handful of high school students. One
contingent is in the Bay Area and a second is in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
These students help Dave Eggers edit The Best American Nonrequired Reading.
Daniel Gumbiner is the book's managing editor; Henry W. Leung and Jia Tolentino
are the assistant managing editors facilitating the committee in Michigan.

This collection, published by Houghton-Mifflin, compiles the country's best
fiction, journalism, essays, comics, and humor every year, and introduces
a large readership to dozens of new writers and publications.

The Best American Nonrequired Reading committee comprising
students from dozens of different high schools meets nearly every week of the
year to read, debate, and compile this offbeat but vital anthology.

Want to say something to us? Contact the BANR committee at
nonrequired@gmail.com. We'll read everything you send us.

Meeting: 1/22/08

...a transcribed discussion of Ken Foster's "Feral Children"...

Tanea: "That was weird." 

Naomi: "It made me think of a lot of different things...I thought there were a few different elements to it that had to do with society and how involved we get in each other's lives. It's set in a society where people have basically become animals. Sometimes we get so involved in things that don't matter that it escalates where we're not obsessing about the things that do matter."

Bora: "It made me think about the writer's perspective of how children are raised, and how children have gone from being your progeny and genetic line and things you're supposed to invest so much time into and now they're considered man's best friend. Like how people raise their children, it's not neglectful, but it's like getting children for the wrong reason. From what we've read in magazines and trashy gossip, it's really trendy to have a kid."

Arianna: "It's also how we raise our children, how nannies raise our children; it's like distance from the kids. It's at arms-length now."

Carlos: "Little boys are born like that, like wrestlers." 

Tanea: "I thought it was a clash of generations. I also thought about the idea of pity, like is pity always good?"

Bora: "It's like if I bought my fish another fish to keep it company."

Nina: "What is interesting about this is the emotional reaction; it just rubs you raw."

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