I Could Tell You Stories (Paperback)
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393320312, 229pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2000
In this timely gathering, Patricia Hampl, one of our most elegant practitioners, "weaves personal stories and grand ideas into shimmering bolts of prose" (Minneapolis Star Tribune) as she explores the autobiographical writing that has enchanted or bedeviled her. Subjects engaging Hampl's attention include her family's response to her writing, the ethics of writing about family and friends, St. Augustine's Confessions, reflections on reading Walt Whitman during the Vietnam War, and an early experience reviewing Sylvia Plath. The word that unites the impulse within all the pieces is "Remember " a command that can be startling. For to remember is to make a pledge: to the indelible experience of personal perception, and to history itself.