Let's Talk Memoir

Episode 14 ft. Phillip Lopate

Brooke Warner

Phillip Lopate, a central figure in the revival of the American essay joins Let’s Talk Memoir for a conversation about the integral role the divided self plays in memoir, striking the balance between telling and showing, how knowing your own flaws and defects helps build trust with the reader, why the intelligent narrator must be present from page one, and why having an interesting take on your story is as if not more important than the story itself.

Also in this episode:

  • Why memoirs aren’t for getting even
  • Turning yourself into a character
  • Narcissistic parents in memoir

Phillip Lopate is a central figure in the revival of the American essay, both through his ubiquitous edited anthology, Art of the Personal Essay, and his own essay collections, Bachelorhood, Against Joie de Vivre, Portrait of My Body and Portrait Inside My Head.  He is also the author of such book-length nonfiction works as To Show and to Tell, Being with Children, Waterfront, Notes on Sontag, Rudy Burckhardt: Photographer and A Mother’s Tale.  Additionally, he has written books of fiction (Confessions of Summer, The Rug Merchant, Two Marriages) and poetry (At the End of the Day).  Finally, he has edited other anthologies (Writing New York and American Movie Critics), and is currently completing a three-volume historical anthology of the American essay.  A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a winner of Guggenheim, New York Public Library and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, he is on the faculty of Columbia University’s Graduate Writing Program, School of the Arts.

https://philliplopate.com/

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