The Art of the Personal Essay

An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present

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Author: Phillip Lopate

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 038542339X

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 777

View: 9864

Bringing together many great reflections on the human condition and the peculiarities of daily life, a unique collection of more than seventy-five essays ranges from classical predecessors of the genre up to today's finest writers. Reprint.

Tracing the Essay

Through Experience to Truth

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Author: George Douglas Atkins

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 9780820327877

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 180

View: 2167

The essay, as a notably hard form of writing to pin down, has inspired some unflattering descriptions: It is a “greased pig,” for example, or a “pair of baggy pants into which nearly anything and everything can fit.” In Tracing the Essay, G. Douglas Atkins embraces the very qualities that have moved others to accord the essay second-class citizenship in the world of letters. Drawing from the work of Montaigne and Bacon and recent practitioners such as E. B. White and Cynthia Ozick, Atkins shows what the essay means--and how it comes to mean. The essay, related to assaying (attempting), mines experience for meaning, which it then carefully weighs. It is a via media creature, says Atkins, born of and embracing tension. It exists in places between experience and meaning, literature and philosophy, self and other, process and product, form and formlessness. Moreover, as a literary form the essay is inseparable from a way of life requiring wisdom, modesty, and honesty. “The essay was, historically,” notes Atkins, “the first form to take the experience of the individual and make it the stuff of literature.” Atkins also considers the essay’s basis in Renaissance (and Reformation) thinking and its participation in voyages of exploration and discovery of that age. Its concern is “home-cosmography,” to use a term from seventeenth-century writer William Habington. Responding to influential critiques of the essay’s supposed self-indulgence, lack of irony, and absence of form, Atkins argues that the essay exhibits a certain “sneakiness” as it proceeds in, through, and by means of the small and the mundane toward the spiritual and the revelatory.

Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction

Work from 1970 to the Present

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Author: Lex Williford,Michael Martone

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781416545118

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 576

View: 4840

From memoir to journalism, personal essays to cultural criticism, this indispensable anthology brings together works from all genres of creative nonfiction, with pieces by fifty contemporary writers including Cheryl Strayed, David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver, and more. Selected by five hundred writers, English professors, and creative writing teachers from across the country, this collection includes only the most highly regarded nonfiction work published since 1970. Contributers include: Jo Ann Beard, Wendell Berry, Eula Biss, Mary Clearman Blew, Charles Bowden, Janet Burroway, Kelly Grey Carlisle, Anne Carson, Bernard Cooper, Michael W. Cox, Annie Dillard, Mark Doty, Brian Doyle, Tony Earley, Anthony Farrington, Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, Diane Glancy, Lucy Grealy, William Harrison, Robin Hemley, Adam Hochschild, Jamaica Kincaid, Barbara Kingsolver , Ted Kooser, Sara Levine, E.J. Levy, Phillip Lopate, Barry Lopez, Thomas Lynch, Lee Martin, Rebecca McCLanahan, Erin McGraw, John McPhee, Brenda Miller, Dinty W. Moore, Kathleen Norris, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lia Purpura, Richard Rhodes, Bill Roorbach, David Sedaris, Richard Selzer, Sue William Silverman, Floyd Skloot, Lauren Slater, Cheryl Strayed, Amy Tan, Ryan Van Meter, David Foster Wallace, and Joy Williams.

Notes on Sontag

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Author: Phillip Lopate

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400829873

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 256

View: 2901

Notes on Sontag is a frank, witty, and entertaining reflection on the work, influence, and personality of one of the "foremost interpreters of . . . our recent contemporary moment." Adopting Sontag's favorite form, a set of brief essays or notes that circle around a topic from different perspectives, renowned essayist Phillip Lopate considers the achievements and limitations of his tantalizing, daunting subject through what is fundamentally a conversation between two writers. Reactions to Sontag tend to be polarized, but Lopate's account of Sontag's significance to him and to the culture over which she loomed is neither hagiography nor hatchet job. Despite admiring and being inspired by her essays, he admits a persistent ambivalence about Sontag. Lopate also describes the figure she cut in person through a series of wry personal anecdotes of his encounters with her over the years. Setting out from middle-class California to invent herself as a European-style intellectual, Sontag raised the bar of critical discourse and offered up a model of a freethinking, imaginative, and sensual woman. But while crediting her successes, Lopate also looks at how her taste for aphorism and the radical high ground led her into exaggerations that could do violence to her own common sense, and how her ambition to be seen primarily as a novelist made her undervalue her brilliant essays. Honest yet sympathetic, Lopate's engaging evaluation reveals a Sontag who was both an original and very much a person of her time.

Book of Days

Personal Essays

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Author: Emily Fox Gordon

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 0679604014

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 6460

The sexual politics of a faculty wives dinner. The psychological gamesmanship of an inappropriate therapist. The emotional minefield of an extended family wedding . . . Whatever the subject, Emily Fox Gordon’s disarmingly personal essays are an art form unto themselves—reflecting and revealing, like mirrors in a maze, the seemingly endless ways a woman can lose herself in the modern world. With piercing humor and merciless precision, Gordon zigzags her way through “the unevolved paradise” of academia, with its dying breeds of bohemians, adulterers, and flirts, then stumbles through the perils and pleasures of psychotherapy, hoping to find a narrative for her life. Along the way, she encounters textbook feminists, partying philosophers, perfectionist moms, and an unlikely kinship with Kafka—in a brilliant collection of essays that challenge our sacred institutions, defy our expectations, and define our lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Against Joie de Vivre

Personal Essays

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Author: N.A

Publisher: University of Nevada Press

ISBN: 9780803222731

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 335

View: 5667

“Over the years I have developed a distaste for the spectacle of joie de vivre, the knack of knowing how to live,” begins the title essay by Phillip Lopate. This rejoinder to the cult of hedonism and forced conviviality moves from a critique of the false sentimentalization of children and the elderly to a sardonic look at the social rite of the dinner party, on to a moving personal testament to the “hungry soul.” Lopate’s special gift is his ability to give us not only sophisticated cultural commentary in a dazzling collection of essays but also to bring to his subjects an engaging honesty and openness that invite us to experience the world along with him. Also included here are Lopate’s inspiring account of his production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya with a group of preadolescents, a look at the tradition of the personal essay, and a soul-searching piece on the suicide of a schoolteacher and its effect on his students and fellow teachers. By turns humorous, learned, celebratory, and elegiac, Lopate displays a keen intelligence and a flair for language that turn bits of common, everyday life into resonant narrative. This collection maintains a conversational charm while taking the contemporary personal essay to a new level of complexity and candor.

To Show and to Tell

The Craft of Literary Nonfiction

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Author: Phillip Lopate

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451696337

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 240

View: 8463

Distinguished author Phillip Lopate, editor of the celebrated anthology The Art of the Personal Essay, is universally acclaimed as “one of our best personal essayists” (Dallas Morning News). Here, combining more than forty years of lessons from his storied career as a writer and professor, he brings us this highly anticipated nuts-and-bolts guide to writing literary nonfiction. A phenomenal master class shaped by Lopate’s informative, accessible tone and immense gift for storytelling, To Show and To Tell reads like a long walk with a favorite professor—refreshing, insightful, and encouraging in often unexpected ways.

The Situation and the Story

The Art of Personal Narrative

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Author: Vivian Gornick

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466819014

Category: Reference

Page: 112

View: 6680

A guide to the art of personal writing, by the author of Fierce Attachments and The End of the Novel of Love All narrative writing must pull from the raw material of life a tale that will shape experience, transform event, deliver a bit of wisdom. In a story or a novel the "I" who tells this tale can be, and often is, an unreliable narrator but in nonfiction the reader must always be persuaded that the narrator is speaking truth. How does one pull from one's own boring, agitated self the truth-speaker who will tell the story a personal narrative needs to tell? That is the question The Situation and the Story asks--and answers. Taking us on a reading tour of some of the best memoirs and essays of the past hundred years, Gornick traces the changing idea of self that has dominated the century, and demonstrates the enduring truth-speaker to be found in the work of writers as diverse as Edmund Gosse, Joan Didion, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, or Marguerite Duras. This book, which grew out of fifteen years teaching in MFA programs, is itself a model of the lucid intelligence that has made Gornick one of our most admired writers of nonfiction. In it, she teaches us to write by teaching us how to read: how to recognize truth when we hear it in the writing of others and in our own.

We Might As Well Call It the Lyric Essay

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Author: John D'Agata

Publisher: Hobart & William Smith College Press / Seneca Review Books

ISBN: 9781495123948

Category: American essays

Page: 292

View: 550

"The Hobart and William Smith Colleges literary journal, Seneca Review, recently released a special anthology, We Might As Well Call It The Lyric Essay, edited by John D'Agata '95, associate professor of English at the University of Iowa. The double issue was initially envisioned as a compilation of D'Agata's favorite essays from Seneca Review, in celebration of his 15th year as the magazine's lyric essay editor. But the project developed into a year-long course at Iowa in which D'Agata enlisted his students to help choose and edit an anthology to showcase the genre, if not define it." -- Publisher's website.

A Room of One's Own (Annotated)

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Author: Virginia Woolf

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544535162

Category: Fiction

Page: 216

View: 8043

In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister: a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different.This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed. But if only she had found the means to create, urges Woolf, she would have reached the same heights as her immortal sibling. In this classic essay,Virginia Woolf takes on the establishment, using her gift of language to dissect the world around her and give a voice to those who have none. Her message is simple: A woman must have a fixed income and a room of her own in order to have the freedom to create. Annotated and with an introduction by Susan Gubar

The Shell Game

Writers Play with Borrowed Forms

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Author: Kim Adrian

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 1496206274

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 304

View: 2835

Within the recent explosion of creative nonfiction, a new type of form is quietly emerging, what Brenda Miller calls "hermit crab essays." The Shell Game is an anthology of these intriguing essays that borrow their structures from ordinary, everyday sources: a recipe, a crossword puzzle, a Craig's List ad. Like their zoological namesake, these essays do not simply wear their borrowed "shells" but inhabit them so perfectly that the borrowed structures are wholly integral rather than contrived, both shaping the work and illuminating and exemplifying its subject. The Shell Game contains a carefully chosen selection of beautifully written, thought-provoking hybrid essays tackling a broad range of subjects, including the secrets of the human genome, the intractable pain of growing up black in America, and the gorgeous glow residing at the edges of the autism spectrum. Surprising, delightful, and lyric, these essays are destined to become classics of this new and increasingly popular hybrid form.

Portrait Inside My Head

Essays

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Author: Phillip Lopate

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451696302

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 2920

The author of Against Joie de Vivre presents a latest collection of essays on the more colorful threads of a life well lived, sharing provocative observations on topics ranging from the challenges of a Brooklyn childhood and the pleasures of baseball to movies and friendship.

The Next American Essay

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Author: John D'Agata

Publisher: Graywolf Press

ISBN: 9781555973759

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 488

View: 5499

In The Next American Essay, John D'Agata takes a literary tour of lyric essays written by the masters of the craft. Beginning with 1975 and John McPhee's ingenious piece, "The Search for Marvin Gardens," D'Agata selects an example of creative nonfiction for each subsequent year. These essays are unrestrained, elusive, explosive, mysterious—a personal lingual playground. They encompass and illuminate culture, myth, history, romance, and sex. Each essay is a world of its own, a world so distinctive it resists definition. Contributors include: Sherman Alexie David Antin Jenny Boully Anne Carson Guy Davenport Lydia Davis Joan Didion Annie Dillard Thalia Field Albert Goldbarth Susan Griffin Theresa Hak Kung Cha Jamaica Kincaid Wayne Koestenbaum Barry Lopez John McPhee Carole Maso Harry Mathews Susan Mitchell Fabio Morabito Mary Ruefle David Shields Dennis Silk Susan Sontag Alexander Theroux George W. S. Trow David Foster Wallace Eliot Weinberger Joe Wenderoth James Wright

Totally, Tenderly, Tragically

Essays and Criticism from a Lifelong Love Affair with the Movies

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Author: Phillip Lopate

Publisher: Anchor Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 384

View: 1536

Essays written over a period of thirty years evaluate the contributions of great filmmakers and noted critics, and address the question of whether movies can think

The Oxford Book of Essays

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Author: John Gross

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199556555

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 680

View: 4014

The essay is one of the richest of literary forms. Its most obvious characteristics are freedom, informality, and the personal touch--though it can also find room for poetry, satire, fantasy, and sustained argument. All these qualities, and many others, are on display in The Oxford Book of Essays. The most wide-ranging collection of its kind to appear for many years, it includes 140 essays by 120 writers: classics, curiosities, meditations, diversions, old favorites, recent examples that deserve to be better known. A particularly welcome feature is the amount of space allotted to American essayists, from Benjamin Franklin to John Updike and beyond. This is an anthology that opens with wise words about the nature of truth, and closes with a consideration of the novels of Judith Krantz. Some of the other topics discussed in its pages are anger, pleasure, Gandhi, Beau Brummell, wasps, party-going, gangsters, plumbers, Beethoven, potato crisps, the importance of being the right size, and the demolition of Westminster Abbey. It contains some of the most eloquent writing in English, and some of the most entertaining.

Portrait of my body

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Author: Phillip Lopate

Publisher: Doubleday

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 325

View: 2072

Essays comment upon fatherhood, fathers, and things paternal, the Holocaust, moviegoing, and the birth of the author's daughter

Writing Personal Essays

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Author: Sheila Bender

Publisher: Writer's Digest Books

ISBN: 9781582971780

Category:

Page: 260

View: 6008

Shelia Bender shows readers how to find the common threads in their lives, the threads that tie the episodes of their lives to the larger web of human emotion and existence. No topic is dull or taboo. Personal stories are important, and Bender shows how to tell them in the reader's own voice. Also includes a chapter on publishing, how to find the right place to send essays, and how to present work to editors.

Crafting The Personal Essay

A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Non-Fiction

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Author: Dinty W. Moore

Publisher: Writer's Digest Books

ISBN: 9781582977966

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 272

View: 6821

Award winning essayist Scott Russell Sanders once compared the art of essay writing to "the pursuit of mental rabbits"—a rambling through thickets of thought in search of some brief glimmer of fuzzy truth. While some people persist in the belief that essays are stuffy and antiquated, the truth is that the personal essay is an ever-changing creative medium that provides an ideal vehicle for satisfying the human urge to document truths as we experience them and share them with others—to capture a bit of life on paper. Crafting the Personal Essay is designed to help you explore the flexibility and power of the personal essay in your own writing. This hands-on, creativity-expanding guide will help you infuse your nonfiction with honesty, personality, and energy. You'll discover: An exploration of the basics of essay writing Ways to step back and scrutinize your experiences in order to separate out what may be fresh, powerful, surprising or fascinating to a reader How to move past private "journaling" and write for an audience How to write eight different types of essays including memoir, travel, humor, and nature essays among others Instruction for revision and strategies for getting published Brimming with helpful examples, exercises, and sample essays, this indispensable guide will help your personal essays transcend the merely private to become powerfully universal.

Reading Essays

An Invitation

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Author: G. Douglas Atkins

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 9780820336534

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 296

View: 348

Approaches abound to help us beneficially, enjoyably read fiction, poetry, and drama. Here, for the first time, is a book that aims to do the same for the essay. G. Douglas Atkins performs sustained readings of more than twenty-five major essays, explaining how we can appreciate and understand what this currently resurgent literary form reveals about the “art of living.” Atkins’s readings cover a wide spectrum of writers in the English language--and his readings are themselves essays, gracefully written, engaged, and engaging. Atkins starts with the earliest British practitioners of the form, including Francis Bacon, John Dryden, Alexander Pope, and Samuel Johnson. Transcendentalist writers Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson are included, as are works by Americans James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, and E. B. White. Atkins also provides readings of a number of contemporary essayists, among them Annie Dillard, Scott Russell Sanders, and Cynthia Ozick. Many of the readings are of essays that Atkins has used successfully in the classroom, with undergraduate and graduate students, for many years. In his introduction Atkins offers practical advice on the specific demands essays make and the unique opportunities they offer, especially for college courses. The book ends with a note on the writing of essays, furthering the author’s contention that reading should not be separated from writing. Reading Essays continues in the tradition of such definitive texts as Understanding Poetry and Understanding Fiction. Throughout, Atkins reveals the joy, delight, grace, freedom, and wisdom of “the glorious essay.”