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The Art of the Personal Essay
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on March 18, 2017
"The Art of the Personal Essay" is a great collection of essays on a variety of topics including family, food, personal loss, illness, politics, relationships and more. You learn different perspectives of how to write an essay on your topic.You also learn significant things about the writers of the essays that really make their work stand out. If you are looking for quality essay content to help you develop your own or you want to read content that is moving, thought-provoking, and has purpose, this is a book to add to your collection.
3 people found this helpful
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on July 13, 2015
This book is full of all the classic essays and is an excellent resource for those studying writing. This book is an artifact of how culture has progressed over the centuries, and shows the evolution our perceptions. The editor, a teacher of the essay, put together the greatest in the field for this masterpiece. It's something great to have nearby on a shelf to refer or escape to without the commitment one needs for reading a book.
4 people found this helpful
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on August 28, 2016
I'm not a writer. I'm a scientist. My girlfriend, however, is a writer and by way of introduction to essays gifted my this anthology. The introductions are insightful, essays pleasant/diverse, the time frame sampled is enormous, and most of all are a joy to read. I highly recommend this collection.
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on June 8, 2012
The introduction itself is invaluable. The author gives an excellent overview of the personal essay as a genre -- how the essay is put together, why it works, what makes it so charming and interesting. I've studied this intro closely and have strongly recommended it to my writer friends. In fact, I loaned my original copy of this book to someone in April but soon bought another because I didn't want to be without it until I see the person again in July. A reading treat, all the way through.
7 people found this helpful
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on November 23, 2004
Laurie Stone, the essayist and creative writing teacher, recommended this book to me as the most essential volume on the personal essay. I could not agree more. The editor, Philip Lopate, is one of the most well-respected authors of the personal essay and he has compiled this anthology of pieces from the classical era to the present. The book works well for readers and writers alike. Lopate, in his lengthy introduction, gives an overview of the personal essay, and instructions on how to use this book as a learning tool. It is divided into several sections, beginning with the essay's forerunners in the classical period. Michel De Montaigne, the father of the personal essay, gets his own section. Personally, I did not find it useful to read the book cover-to-cover - I read it in reverse. I started out with the most recent, contemporary essays - those most accessible to me - and went backwards in order to see the devolution of the essay, as it were.

The essay is fast becoming one of my favorite forms - it is short, funny, and insightful. I highly recommend this book to ANYONE.
52 people found this helpful
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on November 28, 2017
Jam-packed with fine-to-excellent American essays. A few I did like, but learned something anyway. Lopate's own essay in the book thudded on the floor for me....
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on July 17, 2016
I have enjoyed this collection of contemporary nonfiction writers. Easy to use as examples for beginning writers.
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on March 24, 2013
The essay has long been a favorite form of writing, or should I say reading. And Lopate has gathered a treasure trove of the form. from tanizake's incredible "In Praise of Shadows", a unique revelation of Japanese design and form, revealing how pottery and other wares look most luminous in half light, to the philosophical masterworks of Robert Louis Stevenson, Orwell and many others, we are transported to the life of the mind, left to question our previous moral certitudes.
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on June 8, 2015
A great read. Part of my summer reading project. This is sure to get a person in a reading mood. Big difference between essay and personal essay. Might help with my letter and journal writing.
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on July 28, 2015
An outstanding collection of personal essays, beginning way back and moving forward through time. Lots of big names in here. Excellent writing, wonderful stories.
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