The Art of the Personal Essay

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9780385422987: The Art of the Personal Essay

For more than four hundred years, the personal  essay has been one of the richest and most vibrant  of all literary forms. Distinguished from the  detached formal essay by its friendly, conversational  tone, its loose structure, and its drive toward  candor and self-disclosure, the personal essay  seizes on the minutiae of daily life-vanities,  fashions, foibles, oddballs, seasonal rituals, love and  disappointment, the pleasures of solitude,  reading, taking a walk -- to offer insight into the  human condition and the great social and political  issues of the day. The Art of the Personal  Essay is the first anthology to  celebrate this fertile genre. By presenting more than  seventy-five personal essays, including influential  forerunners from ancient Greece, Rome, and the  Far East, masterpieces from the dawn of the  personal essay in the sixteenth century, and a wealth of  the finest personal essays from the last four  centuries, editor Phillip Lopate, himself an  acclaimed essayist, displays the tradition of the  personal essay in all its historical grandeur, depth,  and diversity.

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From the Back Cover:

"A wonderful book. The most charming smorgasbord imaginable of essays from around the world." -- Diane Cole, USA Today.

"Without a doubt, this is the most nourishing essay collection I've read in years." -- Susan Burmeister-Brown, Portland Oregonian.

"A labor of deeply felt love and keenly honed scholarship by an essay authority who knows his territory down to his bones." -- Christian Science Monitor.

"The best available [essay anthology] no matter how crowded the field." -- Chicago Tribune.

"The striking thing is how much Lopate has managed to pack in, and how high a standard he has managed to main- tain." -- John Gross, New York Newsday.

"Packed with personality and beguiling first-person prose... of reminders of the perils and pleasures of the craft." -- The Wall Street Journal.

About the Author:

Philip Lopate is the author of Against Joie de Vivre, Bachelorhood, The Rug Merchant, Being with Children, and Confessions of Summer. A recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, his works have appeared in Best American Essays, The Paris Review, Pushcart Prize annuals, and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is Adams Professor of English at Hofstra University.

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Phillip Lopate
Published by Doubleday (1994)
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