The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present

Written by: Phillip Lopate

The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present Book Cover
For more than four hundred years, the personal essay has been one of the richest and most vibrant of all literary forms. Distinguished from the  detached formal essay by its friendly, conversational tone, its loose structure, and its drive toward candor and self-disclosure, the personal essay seizes on the minutiae of daily life-vanities, fashions, foibles, oddballs, seasonal rituals, love and  disappointment, the pleasures of solitude, reading, taking a walk -- to offer insight into the human condition and the great social and political issues of the day. The Art of the Personal Essay is the first anthology to celebrate this fertile genre. By presenting more than seventy-five personal essays, including influential forerunners from ancient Greece, Rome, and the Far East, masterpieces from the dawn of the personal essay in the sixteenth century, and a wealth of the finest personal essays from the last four centuries, editor Phillip Lopate, himself an acclaimed essayist, displays the tradition of the personal essay in all its historical grandeur, depth, and diversity.
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The Art of the Personal Essay An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present Reviews

Meghan McAfee
This book is all encompassing, an anthology worth its weight--which is about two pounds.

From the father of the personal essay, Michel de Montaigne to one of the best representatives of contemporary, "New Journalism", Joan Didion The Art of the Personal Essay truly has it all. Whether you're a student of nonfiction or merely an admirer, this book needs to be in your collection.
Meghan McAfee
This book is all encompassing, an anthology worth its weight--which is about two pounds.

From the father of the personal essay, Michel de Montaigne to one of the best representatives of contemporary, "New Journalism", Joan Didion The Art of the Personal Essay truly has it all. Whether you're a student of nonfiction or merely an admirer, this book needs to be in your collection.
Mark
Even just reading the introduction gives you a solid foundation for understanding and appreciating creative nonfiction.
The Master :: Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy :: Along The Clipper Way :: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide :: The Library of Greek Mythology
Lynda
I love essays. Some of my favorites are in here.
Jason Arias
A comprehensive and impressive collection of great essayists. It greatly expanded my knowledge of the essay format.
Kate
This is a comprehensive collection of the history of essays and useful for studying a wide range of the form.
Kalyn
Well rounded, well thought out, well liked, etc.
Joshua
This book, and the wonderful essays in it, made me a better writer.
Elizabeth Jayko Racicot
Read this Anthology in 2000 when I first began reading about the personal essay and creative nonfiction. An excellent anthology that I've returned to on several occasions.
Jen
I found this book so valuable I bought a copy after taking out of the library multiple times. Essays to read and reread, and many I will use when I teach. I love a good anthology!
Robert K. Wolf
I found this at McKay's Used Books. A wealth of wisdom for $5.00!
Kimberly Olsen
The first time I read this book, I skipped the introduction. The second time, I soaked in the introduction.
Ke
I recommend this book to anyone interested in nonfiction. The editor has selected a cosmopolitan list and essays of writers from many time periods.
Liz
An excellent collection of personal essays. It is a great resource to use for models of famous personal essays to help students see the different ways a personal essay can be written.
Gervaze
For lovers of the essay, the personal essay in particular, this is a joy.
V
Can't go wrong with this, and Lopate's editing and introductions are great.
Cws
High minded and dry-informational and given this, a keeper-I own it.
Alan
This is my favorite collection of essays. A breathtaking sweep of the most diminutive voices.
Erin
Excellent option for folks teaching a freshman composition class and need interesting essays for their students to read.
Jen
I mean, honestly. If I was actually on a desert island? This has it all. Woolf, Fitzgerald, Marquez... I could be entertained for quite a while. I'm just sayin'.
Mary Louise
Love using this text in class. Excellent.
Elena
BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK I EVER READ #100
Jean
I am reading this book backwards. I love it so far.
Jessica
Anthology of best essayists, from ancients to today. His introductions to the book and for each author were insightful, I skimmed the selections, many were quite good.
Rachel Holtzclaw
if Kevin asks, I read all of this. every single essay.
Monique
I'm still reading the essays in this very thick tome. I was amazed at the early essays, Seneca, Plutarch...very current. I skipped middle essays and am reading more recent ones. Very interesting.
Morgan
I love this anthology! Had to buy it as a required textbook as a Freshman and go back to it all the time.
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