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To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction Paperback – 12 Feb 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 54 ratings

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Product details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Free Pr; Original edition (12 February 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781451696325
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451696325
  • ASIN: 1451696329
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Boxed-product Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product description


"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

"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

"One of the best guides to writing nonfiction I've read."--The Cleveland Plain Dealer

About the Author

Phillip Lopate is the author of more than a dozen books, including three personal essay collections, Bachelorhood, Against Joie de Vivre, Portrait of My Body, and Waterfront. He directs the graduate nonfiction program at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

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