This Riot Recommendation listing the best living essay writers is sponsored by I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott.
In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, acclaimed essayist Mary Laura Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?
What a time to be alive! At least when it comes to the selection of amazing essay collections we’ve been getting the last few years from so many amazing voices. From pop culture to dissections on music to #metoo to body positivity—and so much more.
We drop everything to read a great essay collection, so we asked you to help us by telling us who you think the best living essay writers are. And what an amazing list you put together! Here are the best living essay writers in case you need to rub some amazing writing and thoughts on your brain:
Tressie McMillan Cottom
Esmé Weijun Wang
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
[Ed.’s Note: List updated to remove deceased authors]