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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $27.00
  • October 2015
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-28339-6
  • 512 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Seagull Reader


Third Edition


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Joseph Kelly (Author, College of Charleston)


Norton quality at the most affordable price.

The best-priced alternative to full-length readers, The Seagull Reader: Essays offers an attractive blend of classroom favorites and unique, compelling choices in a compact and portable format.


A compact reader at an unbeatable value

The highly portable Third Edition is available at a value unmatched in this market—and at a lower price than the previous edition. Students are sure to buy it and sure to bring it to class. 

An attractive mix of classroom favorites and engaging new voices

The Seagull Reader: Essays brings together a mix of 56 essays—13 new to the Third Edition—by a variety of writers, from established authors (Dwight Eisenhower, David Brooks, and Barbara Ehrenreich) and rising voices (Atul Gawande and Ta-Nehisi Coates) to authors not found in any other composition text (Tavi Gevinson).  

Deft, concise pedagogy with new coverage on writing essays

The Third Edition continues the tradition of highly praised pedagogy that has been a hallmark of the Seagull Readers since their inception. Concise introductions to reading and writing about essays offer students the fundamentals of understanding writing and rhetoric, while a new feature, “How Do I Write Essays?,” offers guidance on writing persuasive essays. A new Discussion Guide fosters classroom discussion and provides writing prompts for student essays, and additional guidance for student writers is available at Norton/Write. 

    ***new to this edition


    What Are Essays?


    Maya Angelou, Graduation

    Anne Applebaum, The Torture Myth

    James Baldwin, Stranger in the Village

    Michael Bérubé, Paying for Freedom

    Judy Brady, I Want a Wife

    David Brooks, I Am Not Charlie Hebdo***

    William F. Buckley Jr., Why Don’t We Complain?

    Rachel Carson, A Fable for Tomorrow

    Hillary Rodham Clinton, Speech to the Fourth World Conference on Women***

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, In Defense of a Loaded Word***

    Joan Didion, On Keeping a Notebook

    Annie Dillard, The Stunt Pilot

    Frederick Douglass, Learning to Read

    Barbara Ehrenreich, War Without Humans: Modern Blood Rites Revisited***

    Dwight David Eisenhower, Inaugural Address***

    Louise Erdrich, Z: The Movie That Changed My Life

    Atul Gawande, Why Boston’s Hospitals Were Ready***

    Tavi Gevinson, Editor’s Letter, December 2014: First Person***

    Stephen Jay Gould, The Median Isn’t the Message

    Angelina Grimké, Speech in Pennsylvania Hall

    Sam Harris, The Myth of “Moderation” in Religion

    S. I. Hayakawa, How Dictionaries Are Made

    Zoë Heller, Rape on the Campus***

    Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly, How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment: A Report on Earnings and Long-Term Career Paths***

    Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me

    Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

    Robert F. Kennedy, On the Death of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

    Maxine Hong Kingston, No Name Woman

    Michael Kinsley, The Intellectual Free Lunch***

    Jonathan Kozol, The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society

    Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

        The Gettysburg Address

    Bret Lott, Atonement

    Malcolm X, A Homemade Education

    N. Scott Momaday, An American Land Ethic

    Carla R. Monroe, Why Are “Bad Boys” Always Black?***

    George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant

    Leonard Pitts, Fox Faux News Forces Rare Apology***

    Katha Pollitt, Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls

    Richard Posner, Frank v. Walker***

    Ronald Reagan, A Time for Choosing

    Richard Rodriguez, “Blaxicans” and Other Reinvented Americans

    Richard Rorty, The Unpatriotic Academy

    William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas, William K. Reilly, and Christine Todd Whitman, A Republican Case for Climate Action

    Salman Rushdie, Abortion in India

    Chief Seattle, Letter to President Pierce

    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program***

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

    Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

    Amy Tan, Mother Tongue

    Deborah Tannen, Conversational Styles

    Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens

    Eudora Welty, Listening

    E. B. White, Once More to the Lake

    Virginia Woolf, In Search of a Room of One’s Own

    Biographical Sketches

    Permissions Acknowledgments