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Narcissus Leaves the Pool: Familiar Essays Hardcover – May 1, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Hardcover, May 1, 1999
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"The Eighth Sister" by Robert Dugoni
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Demonstrating the continuing relevance and joys of the well-crafted essay, Epstein's thoughtful excursions explore a range of subjects from the profound (mortality) to the pedantic (language abuses) and the popular (the music of the 1940s). But they are always deeply personal. Without sacrificing his own unique viewpoint, Epstein (Life Sentences), for 23 years the editor of The American Scholar, always engages his reader, providing access to his knowledge instead of merely lecturing. For example, when expounding upon the delights of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he makes the reader with no knowledge of Gibbon feel as if she, too, might pick up the volumes and breeze through them. Many of the essays are powerful: using himself as an example, Epstein charts his growing fears of aging and death to painful and provocative effect, and his descriptions of the human body are wrenching. His elegantly turned sentences reveal quirks and cultural musings with a comic touch that is light, but never flippant. The best essays achieve classical balance in a completely modern voice.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

What do you get when you take 16 personal essays, add literary knowledge and self-revelation, include well-turned phrases and polished paragraphs, temper with a candid, colloquial style, and suffuse with a great deal of wit and amusing observation? You get a new collectionAhis sixthAby the former editor of the American Scholar. Epstein (Life Sentences, LJ 9/15/97) focuses mainly on ordinary subjects: aging, napping, reading, name-dropping, and being an addicted sports spectator. He speculates that the fanatic pursuit of youthfulness through exercise allows one to "be in near perfect shape just in time for death." And on the subject of pronunciation he wonders, "Why does it feel so foolish, so ketchup on one's white shirtfront, so absolutely fly open at the senior prom, to know one has been mispronouncing a word?" These essays were first published in the American Scholar, The New Yorker, and the Hudson Review; it's nice to have them together under one cover. Recommended for literature collections in both academic and public libraries.AIlse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
  • Hardcover : 321 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0395944031
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0395944035
  • Product Dimensions : 6 x 1.25 x 8.75 inches
  • Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 15 ratings