Rotella's essay, "Cut Time," was originally published in The American Scholar Spring 2000 edition. Birnbaum's "How to Pray: Reverence, Stories, and the Rebbe's Dream" first appeared in the summer 2000 issue of Image: A Journal of the Arts & Religion.
Entries for each volume are selected by series editor Robert Atwan from hundreds of periodicals - including The New Yorker, Harper's and Esquire - and subsequently pared down to approximately 20 to 25 by a guest editor widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. Kathleen Norris, whose works include Dakota, Falling Off and The Middle of the World, served as this year's guest editor.
Rotella and Birnbaum's achievement comes on the heels of a literary hat trick by Rotella's English Department colleague Assoc. Prof. Elizabeth Graver, whose short story "The Mourning Door" was selected for three "best-of" anthologies: Best American Short Stories 2000, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses.
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