In this article published by Los Angeles Review of Books, Ned Stuckey-French discusses the significance of John D’Agata’s anthologies to the genre of the personal essay. The article was listed as a Long Reads Top 5 Pick of the Week. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Like Abrams, Aaron, and the radicals of 1968, D’Agata wants to expand the canon — in his case, the essay canon — but he wants to do so by redefining what an essay is. He introduces us to new voices but not because those writers represent a previously underrepresented group in terms of race, sexuality, ethnicity, or class, but because D’Agata sees them as doing something different in terms of form, something that allows him to nudge the genre toward his conception of what it should be.
You can read the full article here.