A distinguished and diverse group will edit the 103-year-old annual collection

By David Canfield
January 23, 2018 at 02:00 PM EST
Credit: Jay Grabiec; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has assembled an all-star team of writers to guest-edit this year’s Best American Series collection, EW can announce exclusively.

The Best American Series is a 103-year-old collection of books which are published annually, honoring a range of genres and themes such as short stories and essays. It is the oldest and most prestigious continuing series of its type, typically attracting high-profile writers to compile and guest-edit different sections.

This year, among the biggest names to be featured as editors are Roxane Gay (Hunger), who will helm the Short Story collection; Cheryl Strayed (Wild), guest-editing the Travel Writing section; and Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als, who will oversee the Essays book. In addition, legendary food critic Ruth Reichl will edit the Best American Series’ first-ever book on Food Writing.

“This year’s list of distinguished editors — seven women and three men — reflect the diversity of American arts and letters,” Bruce Nichols, senior vice president and publisher of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, said in a statement. “Each editor is at the top of their field. We are proud to publish them all and excited to welcome Food Writing to the series for the first time.”

Last year’s guest editors for the Best American Series included The Interestings author Meg Wolitzer (Short Stories) and The Empathy Exams author Leslie Jamison (Essays).