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To Show And To Tell: The Craft Of Literary Nonfiction (2013)

by Phillip Lopate(Favorite Author)
3.99 of 5 Votes: 2
1451696329 (ISBN13: 9781451696325)
Free Press
review 1: Lopate's new book is an excellent resource for not just writers of essays; he covers many issues that all writers face, especially in the chapter titled "On the Ethics of Writing about Others." Readers will find themselves enjoying reading more after examining some of the topics discussed in this book. I enjoyed his attempts to explain how to end an essay in the chapter titled "How do you end an essay?" Ending an essay is an intuitive skill that is difficult to teach or explain, but at the same time Lopate tries his best to give some guidance on the tough subject. With good humor and some jealousy, he looks at the lyric essay. I like that he gives the names of authors when he is talking about a specific point or subject, so that I can then choose to read further and se... moree examples of what Lopate has been talking about. At the end of the book, I discovered Lopate left me a wonderful Reading List of authors and their essays, grouped by topic. Reading this book was like taking a full semester course in writing, if you follow up the book by reading the full list at the end, and incorporating what you've learned in your own writing. Lopate does not shy away from the topics of what memoir is compared to fiction, what nonfiction is compared to fiction, and what the personal essay is compared to memoir. If, as a writer, you are making a decision about what frame to use for a specific "story" you want to tell - either memoir, narrative fiction, or personal essay - this book will help you understand how to work that frame out. Recommended highly to writers and discriminating readers.
review 2: Lopate's voice comes through well here, as it always does; and it is a voice that is so sincere and intelligent that one is shuttled through this small volume. However, the collection seems to have split intentions--it at once bills itself as a guide to "the craft of literary nonfiction," and as what it actually is: a collection of loosely related essays that seem to have been merely thrust together. In this way, the transitions between "chapters" can be rather perfunctory and repetitious. Ultimately, it feels more like a hurried volume of many years worth of opinions than a thoughtfully considered, crafted treatise on the form. less
Reviews (see all)
This is the best book I ever read on how to write creative nonfiction.
Helpful and readable. Provocative, too, like all of Lopate.
Had to return it to the library...
helpful and entertaining
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