The Essay Prize is given each year to the work that best exemplifies the art of essaying—of inquiry, rumination, discovery, and change. Open to projects in any medium or form—be it text, film, radio, performance, or other—the Essay Prize intentionally stretches the definition of "essaying" in order to celebrate work that is defined by what it does—the activity that it engages in—rather than what it is—its "nonfictional" verifiability.
We asked some of our favorite essayists to compile a list of their own favorite essays of all time.
Read Their Lists
While on the one hand skewering an American culture beleaguered by what he called “the never-ending quest for artisanal olive oil and other first world problems,” Rakoff’s essays always also held an undercurrent of infectious melancholy.