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The Art of the Personal Essay

The Art of the Personal Essay Cover

The Art of the Personal Essay

An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present

By Phillip Lopate

Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780385423397, 832pp.

Publication Date: January 15, 1997

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Description
For more than four hundred years, the personalessay has been one of the richest and most vibrantof all literary forms. Distinguished from thedetached formal essay by its friendly, conversationaltone, its loose structure, and its drive towardcandor and self-disclosure, the personal essayseizes on the minutiae of daily life-vanities, fashions, foibles, oddballs, seasonal rituals, love anddisappointment, the pleasures of solitude, reading, taking a walk -- to offer insight into thehuman condition and the great social and politicalissues of the day. The Art of the Personal Essay isthe first anthology to celebrate this fertilegenre. By presenting more than seventy-five personalessays, including influential forerunners fromancient Greece, Rome, and the Far East, masterpieces from the dawn of the personal essay in thesixteenth century, and a wealth of the finestpersonal essays from the last four centuries, editorPhillip Lopate, himself an acclaimed essayist, displays the tradition of the personal essay in allits historical grandeur, depth, anddiversity.


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.


Praise For The Art of the Personal Essay

"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 maintain." -- 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.

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