From the Editors
WQ in Best American Essays
S. Frederick Starr and Christopher Clausen honored in annual anthology.
We’re proud of every issue we publish, but it’s nice when that sentiment is confirmed independently now and then—a bit like having one’s lovely child complimented by someone outside the family circle. This year we are delighted that S. Frederick Starr’s essay “Rediscovering Central Asia,” which appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of the WQ, has been reprinted in The Best American Essays 2010. Starr’s essay, a comprehensive and highly readable history of Central Asia’s glorious past that charts the way for the future, attracted notice when it was published, but we recognized that its appeal would necessarily be limited to those who, in this age of Web-inflected attention spans, still want to sit down and read an essay of nearly 6,000 words. It was nice to see that Christopher Hitchens, the guest editor for this year’s Best American Essays volume, recognized our dedication to running long (sometimes long-long) narratives. In his introduction, he remarked that he was impressed “by the staunch way in which publications like Missouri Review, Wilson Quarterly, American Scholar, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Oregon Humanities continue to trust authors to write at length, and readers to take the trouble to repay that trust.”