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.
"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.