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Phillip Lopate

Portrait Inside My Head

Phillip Lopate Portrait Inside My Head Essays
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Main description:

“Immensely readable essays.…[Phillip Lopate] remains ‘a storyteller at heart’ who can liven up any subject with nimble anecdotes from his life.…Delightful” (The New York Times Book Review).

In this stunning collection of personal essays, distinguished author Phillip Lopate weaves together the colorful threads of a life well lived and takes us on an invigorating and thoughtful journey through memory, culture, parenthood, the trials of marriage both young and old, and an extraordinary look at New York’s storied past and present.

Lopate has long been considered one of our most important, groundbreaking essayists, and this newest collection has been widely celebrated as among his best. Portrait Inside My Head was listed in The New Yorker’s “Books to Watch Out For” and praised by The New York Times Book Review as “riveting [and] arresting,” with “sculptured scenes worthy of fiction.” Hailed as “America’s Montaigne” by the Baltimore City Paper and compared to “Henry Roth and early Saul Bellow” by the Christian Science Monitor, Lopate has an easy, conversational style that pushes his piercing insights to new depths, celebrating the life of the mind and illuminating memories and feelings both distant and immediate. The result is a charming and spirited new book from the undisputed master of the form.

Review quote:

"A connoisseur of the personal essay. . . [Lopate's] style and mileu are reminiscent of novels by Henry Roth and early Saul Bellow."

Review quote:

"An engaging collection of personal essays. . . . [Lopate] draws you in, playcing you in his writing space, and you feel his impatience to get to the page and draw you into his mind and through his world."

Review quote:

"Esteemed essayist and poet Lopate offers 'a motley collection of essays, personal and critical' . . . Readers are well-rewarded for his obsession."

Review quote:

"Phillip Lopate is America's Montaigne, bringing the same sense of moderation, warmth, and curiousity to the personal essay."

Review quote:

“Few living writers have done as much to shape the contemporary essay as Phillip Lopate, but he’s clearly not done. Portrait Inside My Head is a welcome reminder of how good he is as an essayist and how vital he makes the form, in all its miscellany, reverie, sparkle, and spectacle. Memoir is for suckers. The essay is—and these essays definitely are—where the jam’s at.”

Review quote:

“Hilarious and tender… Meandering merrily along in the footsteps of the great classical essayists Montaigne and William Hazlitt, acclaimed cultural critic Lopate traipses breezily through family life and literary, cultural, social, and political matters…with his typical elegance and peripatetic curiosity.”

Review quote:

“Immensely readable essays. . . As riveting as short stories, with arresting openings, sculptured scenes worthy of fiction, introspective passages fingering his own feelings, and haunting conclusions that resonate. . . .What holds it together is an engaging voice, the projection of a curious, appealingly modest, sometimes self-mocking character behind that voice, and the “the fluent play of a single consciousness.” He’s gifted at staging his inner conflicts, radiating intimacy without descending into the confessional. . . . [Lopate] remains “a storyteller at heart” who can liven up any subject with nimble anecdotes from his life. . . . Delightful.”

Review quote:

“It’s impossible to overestimate how completely Phillip Lopate’s anthology The Art of the Personal Essay reframed and revivified the personal essay for contemporary American writers and readers. In his new collection of essays, Portrait Inside My Head, Lopate demonstrates his own immense virtues as an essa
“There’s something tremendously absorbent about Phillip Lopate’s essays. . . . The reading experience he assembles for us always commands my attention like the wise and mysterious shrug of someone smart.”


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