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Getting Personal: Selected Writings Paperback – Bargain Price, November 30, 2004


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Paperback, Bargain Price, November 30, 2004
$118.46 $7.48

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Essayist, poet and cultural critic Lopate gleans from his previous works a selection representing various interests and illuminating his life. The essays form a discontinuous but satisfying whole. The first three sections center on his personal life and resemble fictional narratives, with fully drawn characters (e.g., Osao, a romantic interest whose love was "like the bonsai tree, perfect in its own limited way... doomed to grow no higher than one's knee," and a landlord who thinks typing will bring the ceiling down). Lopate captures speech so believably, it's easy to trust his memory for long-ago conversations. Craftily etched scenes draw readers into his second-grade classroom, onto a subway ride, along streets and into watching Samson and Delilah. The emphasis in the latter three sections, on Lopate's public life, veers toward the journalistic. Lopate revisits his experiences as a poet in residence and creative writing teacher at a New York City elementary school, recalling teaching writing with examples from student work, putting on Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and dealing with the disruptions wrought by the 1968 school strike. Lopate's political analyst voice emerges in his provocative essay "Resistance to the Holocaust." He also displays his prowess as a movie critic, sharing a close analysis of Godard's Contempt. The final section closes the circle with a return to the private, with the witty "Portrait of My Body," an evocative tribute to Donald Barthelme and a moving account of his father's last days. Having edited the popular The Art of the Personal Essay (1994), Lopate is both legatee and guardian of the genre. Photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Lopate, an acknowledged master of the personal essay, satirizes literary pretension and his own writerly ambitions in a hilarious introduction to what turns out to be a truly impressive and relishable collection of essays that charts his private and writing lives. A great believer in the "confessional mode," Lopate uses it to stirring effect in memoirs of his Brooklyn boyhood, his bout with depression during his freshman year at Columbia, his often distressing relationships with women, and the revelations of working as a writer-in-residence in public schools. He also broaches such provocative matters as art in the wake of the Holocaust, the "poetic transcendence" movies can bestow, and his "dislike of joie de vivre." Lopate's frank and nervy essays are as vivid in their characters, story lines, and emotional intensity as fiction, but because they are, instead, idiosyncratic inquiries into the mysteries of real-life conundrums, they offer a gratifying intimacy. "I want to get to the bottom of things," Lopate writes, and readers will be happy to accompany him on his dig. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0465041744
  • ASIN: B000C4T1WM
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 8.6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,390,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Carte31408 on March 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful collection of personal essays from Phillip Lopate, considered a master of the genre. Very engaging stories written in a very accessible style that belies the craft behind them.
The relating of his experience producing "Uncle Vanya" with young schoolchildren completely fascinated me. His stories regarding his family are equally engaging. An essay about a fellow teacher who commits suicide has rarely left my thoughts since I read it two weeks ago.
It seems cliched to say that the stories work on a variety of levels. However, while reading the Uncle Vanya story I found myself fascinated not only with Chekhov's play, but how we underestimate children, how we relate to children, how schools educate children, the empowering nature of theater, etc. The essay is so rich with ideas that it was literally inspiring.
I found myself unable to put the book down. As it got later and later, I would tell myself "just one more".
I'm only sorry that it took me so long to discover him. Thanks to his brother Leonard for having Phillip on his radio show. I've found a shelfmate for my Thurber and Benchley anthologies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Friedman on April 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Provocative and brutally honest, Mr. Lopate packs a wallop with his insights and musings from body image to the Holocaust. I can't stop thinking about it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DC10022 on October 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
not what i expected re how to write essays.....my mistake
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