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Getting Personal: Selected Essays

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  108 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
From the man whose name is synonymous with the contemporary personal essay, Getting Personal is a rich and ambitious collection that spans Phillip Lopate's career as an essayist, teacher, film critic, father, son, and husband. Witty, insightful, deeply meditative, and self-revelatory, with his characteristic candor and curmudgeonly charm, he explores himself, his life, his ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 3rd 2004 by Basic Books (first published 2003)
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Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
(Homework response September 27th, 2011)

When I first began reading this book, Lopate's humor and vivid descriptions of life events captured me. He manages to pack a lot into his metaphores, such as "The whirling dervishes of Kabul could not have been more ecstatic than we with our thwacking book satchel's" (3) which establishes his humor and his character as a child, and suggest his Jewish heritage. Another early powerful moment for me was when he watched his father writing the poem for his moth
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
I couldn't have read this in one go. Indeed, I am at the end of my third library renewal. For one thing, I'm not always in the mood for this kind of pensive observation. For another, these personal essays, which span a half-century of Lopate's life, are best savored. I didn't like them all equally, but I enjoyed the form. His writing is insightful with the kind of observations that imply some time with a psychotherapist. The longish essay on producing Uncle Vanya with elementary school children ...more
Jan 16, 2008 rated it liked it
I had read only Lopate's essay "Against joie de vivre" which I found clever and insightful. But I was slightly disappointed(for reasons undefined)with "Getting Personal", as these essays go in chronological order of his life, hence are more about his personal development. But then all essays really are, aren't they? For some strange reason I did not even like to see a photo of Lopate in the back of the book. Kind of like discovering that the sexy radio voice does not belong to a good looking man ...more
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
This is a collection of essays that spans Philip Lopate's career. A couple of my favorites are "Against Joie de Vivre" and "Chechkov for Children". I believe this book also includes an essay about the birth of Lopate's daughter, which was quite memorable.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Completed at long last. A good read, for sure, but it required much downtime between essays.
Elizabeth A.
great, great, great
Gil Roth
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'd give it more stars if that was an option.
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Phillip Lopate is the author of three personal essay collections, two novels, two poetry collections, a memoir of his teaching experiences, and a collection of his movie criticism. He has edited the following anthologies, and his essays, fiction, poetry, film and architectural criticism have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Essays, The Paris Review, Harper's, Vogue, E ...more
More about Phillip Lopate