Carnegie Mellon University
May 01, 2014

News Brief: Three Recent Hilary Masters' Pieces Land on Best American Essays' Notable Lists


Contact: Shilo Rea / 412-268-6094 /

PITTSBURGH—Three recent pieces by Carnegie Mellon University English Professor Hilary Masters have been included on three of the past four Best American Essays' Notable Lists.  The list annually features a selection of the year's outstanding essays of "literary achievement that show an awareness of craft and forcefulness of thought."

The 2013 Notable List contained Masters' "Amelia Earhart's Last Landing," which was originally published in the Sewanee Review. 2011's list included "Looking Back," published in Provincetown Arts, and the 2010 edition listed "In the Cards," which first appeared in the Prairie Schooner.

"Best American never tells you when you are nominated," Masters said. "A former student saw the 2013 list and told me. I looked it up, and discovered two more — a pleasant surprise."

Masters, an acclaimed writer who is known for using different kinds of abandonment to represent men and women in contemporary America, has written 10 novels. "Post: A Fable,"  part-mystery, part-environmental elegy and futuristic tale about ruining things that we love, was published in 2011 and won the Best Books 2011 Award for literary fiction.

His work has received the Balch Prize for Fiction, the Monroe Spears Prize for the Essay and has been published in Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize Anthologies. In 2003, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences presented Masters with its Award for Literature.

Masters' most recent essay, "My Father's Mistress," appears in the current issue of Sewanee Review.

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