To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction


Product Details

$17.00  $15.64
Free Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 0.7 X 8.3 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Phillip Lopate, a Brooklyn native, has written three personal essay collections--Bachelorhood, Against Joie de Vivre, and Portrait of My Body; two novels, Confessions of Summer and The Rug Merchant; two poetry collections; a collection of his movie criticism, Totally Tenderly Tragically; and an urbanist meditation, Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan. Lopate also has edited several anthologies, including The Art of the Personal Essay and Writing New York. His essays, fiction, poetry, film, and architectural criticism have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Essays (1987), several Pushcart Prize annuals, The Paris Review, Harper's, Vogue, Esquire, Threepenny Review, the New York Times, Preservation, Cite, Metropolis, and many other periodicals and anthologies. Lopate has also taught creative writing and literature at Fordham University, Cooper Union, the University of Houston, and New York University. He is a Professor at Columbia University, where he directs the nonfiction concentration in the graduate writing program.


"Shrewd, revealing, dexterous, skeptical, provocative, restless, wry, necessary."--Laura Kipnis "author of Against Love and How to Become a Scandal "
"At last--a reliable guide to the signature genre of the age. Phillip Lopate's tour of literary nonfiction includes brilliant and helpful considerations of the essay and memoir, placing them and their vexing questions in clear cultural context. Impossible now to imagine a nonfiction course that does not include To Show and To Tell in its syllabus. This is the rule book. But it's much more than a "craft book" for writers. It's a delight in itself, a fascinating exploration for readers, for anyone wondering why personally voiced nonfiction is so popular. The range is impressive, and the voice here is immediate, fresh, witty, winningly honest. An indispensible book."--Patricia Hampl "author of The Florist's Daughter "
"The work of a master, To Show and To Tell is beyond compare, for it embodies a poetics of literary nonfiction that takes into account all the crucial aspects, elements, and issues of the craft. Thus it's the essential text for anyone who seeks to enjoy, to understand, or to write nonfiction."--Carl H. Klaus "author of The Made-Up Self: Impersonation in the Personal Essay "
"[To Show and To Tell] gives away all his trade secrets - a thoughtful guidebook for writers of literary nonfiction."--New York Times Book Review
"One of the best guides to writing nonfiction I've read."--The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Sophisticated... Lopate, a consummate and piquant essayist, ...draws on his extensive teaching experience in this expert, anecdotal, funny, and frank guide to writing "intelligent, satisfying, engaging literary nonfiction." Even in a how-to book, Lopate can't help but write lithe and sparring personal essays... Never one to accept received wisdom, Lopate encourages writers to go beyond the safe, facile, and sentimental."--Booklist
"One of the Earls of Essay returns with a collection that illustrates both his knowledge of the genre and his considerable skill in practicing it... A useful collection of bracing thoughts and sinuous sentences."--Kirkus Reviews