Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind.
The latest addition to the esteemed Best American series is a collection of the best spiritual writing of the year, introduced by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jack Miles and including both prose and poetry. Series editor Philip Zaleski has chosen the volume's pieces with an eye to spirituality's many guises, from its impact on personal relationships and the environment to politics, creativity, and literature. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, secular, and pan-Hindu perspectives are all represented in these pieces, which have been selected from both mainstream and more specialized periodicals.