Issue #28, 2006

Essays from the Edge

This issue features new voices exploring the darker side of life. These riveting and thought-provoking essays honestly grapple with a difficult time in each author’s life.

Craig Bernier takes us to a racetrack in West Virginia in “Mountaineer,” Megan Foss reflects on a history of addiction, prostitution and rape in “Fourteen Years in the Making” and Thomas Wanebo recounts an experience in Osaka’s red-light district in his essay, “Three Minute.” Other essays are slightly less racy, but also explore life from the edge: in "Then You'll Be Straight," Margaret Price writes about her experiences as a queer white professor at a historically black women's college, and Gwen Gray meditates on "The Rules of the Room."

Also in this issue is an essay by Meredith Hall, recipient of the 2004 Gift of Freedom from the A Room of Her Own Foundation and winner of a 2005 Pushcart Prize. “Without a Map,” a follow-up to “Shunned,” which first appeared in CNF #22, chronicles the 11 months Hall spent traveling across Europe on foot and her attempt to deal with not only the loss of a child but of the life she expected for herself.

Finally, this issue features an excerpt from celebrated writer Gay Talese’s new memoir, A Writer’s Life. Author of The Kingdom and the Power, Honor Thy Father, Thy Neighbor’s Wife and Unto the Sons, in this book Talese comments on his experiences as a journalist and the act of writing itself. The two chapters included in this issue offer a personal view of Talese, through his relationship with Tina Brown, former editor of The New Yorker, and a demonstration of his reporting skills as he follows the John and Lorena Bobbitt story.

This issue is out of print.

Table of Contents

FROM THE EDITOR Lee Gutkind ... read more
from "A Writer's Life" Gay Talese
Fourteen Years in the Making Megan Foss
The Rules of the Room Gwen Gray
Ghost Children D. Winston Brown
Without a Map Meredith Hall
Then You'll Be Straight Margaret Price
Three Minute Thomas Wanebo
Christmas on the Palisades Adam Gussow
Mountaineer Craig Bernier
Kathryn Harrison: Cutting Beneath Catherine Wald
COVER TO COVER: Reviews of New Books


Craig Bernier

Craig Bernier was born in the greater metropolitan Detroit Suburbs. He has held numerous jobs, both traditional and non-traditional. He... read more

D. Winston Brown

D. Winston Brown is a native of Birmingham, Ala., where he lives and works. read more

Megan Foss

Megan Foss earned her MA at Western Washington University. read more

Gwen Gray

Gwen Gray is a student in the University of Pittsburgh's Creative Nonfiction MFA program. She began writing shortly before she began... read more

Adam Gussow

Adam Gussow is an Assistant Professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. He is the author of two... read more

Meredith Hall

Meredith Hall's memoir, Without a Map, was recently published by Beacon Press in 2007. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The... read more

Margaret Price

Margaret Price is an associate professor of writing at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Her book Mad at School: Rhetorics of... read more

Gay Talese

Gay Talese is the author of Unto the Sons, The Kingdom and the Power, Thy Neighbor's Wife, Fame and Obscurity and other books. A Writer's... read more

Catherine Wald

Catherine Wald is the author of The Resilient Writer: Tales of Rejection and Triumph from 23 Top Authors (Persea, 2005). read more

Thomas Wanebo

Thomas Wanebo lives in Boulder, Colo. read more