Portrait of My Body by Phillip LopatePortrait of My Body by Phillip Lopate

Portrait of My Body

byPhillip Lopate

Paperback | September 15, 1997

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Phillip Lopate's richest and most ambitious book  yet--the final volume of a trilogy that began with  Bachelorhood and Against  Joie de Vivre--Portrait of My  Body is a powerful memoir in the form of  interconnected personal essays. One of America's  foremost essayists, who helped focus attention on  the form in his acclaimed anthology The  Art of the Personal Essay, Lopate  demonstrates here just how far a writer can go in the  direction of honesty and risk  taking.

In thirteen essays, Lopate explores the  resources and limits of the self, its many disguises,  excuses, and unmaskings, with his characteristic  wry humor and insight. From the title essay, a  hilarious physical self-exam, to the haunting  portrait of his ex-colleague Donald Barthelme, to the  bittersweet account of his long-delayed surrender  to marriage, "On Leaving Bachelorhood,"  Lopate wrestles with finding the proper balance  between detachment and empathy, doubt and  conviction. In other essays, he celebrates his love of  film and city life, and reflects on his religious  identity as a Jew. A wrenchingly vivid,  unforgettable portrait of the author's eccentric,  solipsistic, aged father, a self-proclaimed failure, is  the centerpiece of a suite of essays about  father-figures and resisted mentors. The book ends with  the author's own introduction to fatherhood, as  witness to the birth of his daughter.  

A book that will engage readers with its  conversational eloquence, skeptical intelligence,  candor, and mischief, Portrait of My  Body is a captivating work of literary  nonfiction.
Phillip Lopate is the author of the essay collections Against Joie de Vivre, Bachelorhood, and Portrait of My Body. He has also written the novels The Rug Merchant and Confessions of a Summer. Lopate is the editor of The Art of the Personal Essay and the Library of America's Writing New York, as well as the series editor of The Art of ...
Title:Portrait of My BodyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:September 15, 1997Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385483775

ISBN - 13:9780385483773

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Table of Contents



The Moody Traveler
Portrait of My Body
The Dead Father: A Remembrance of Donald Barthelme
Confessions of a Shusher
The Movies and Spiritual Life
Resistance to the Holocaust


On Leaving Bachelorhood
Detachment and Passion
Terror of Mentors
The Story of My Father
The Invisible Woman
Memories of Greenwich Village: A Meander
Delivering Lily

From Our Editors

Phillip Lopate's richest and most ambitious book yet -- the final volume of a trilogy that began with Bacbelorhood and Against Joie de Vivre -- Portrait of My Body is a powerful memoir in the form of interconnected personal essays. One of America's foremost essay writers, and the editor of the new Anchor Essay Annual 1997 (see page 12), Lopate demonstrates again his "consummate skill as an essayist" (Houston Chonicle).With his characteristic wry humor and insight, Lopate explores the resources and limits of the self, its many disguises, excuses, and unmaskings. From the title essay -- a hilarious physical exam -- to the haunting portrait of his excolleague Donald Barthelme, to the bittersweet account of his long-delayed surrender to marriage, "On Leaving Bachelorhood", Lopate presents a collection rich with the events and accidents of a self-written life. A book that will engage readers with its eloquence, intelligence, and mischief, Portrait of My Body is a captivating work of literary nonfiction

Editorial Reviews

"So immensely pleasurable to read--like time spent with a wonderfully intelligent and learned, witty, observant and very open friend. Sometimes you want to argue, but more often to say, 'Oh, right.' I was alternately moved and amused, entertained and enlightened."--Alice AdamsCritical Acclaim for Phillip Lopate:"Lopate more than fulfills his authorial obligation to be engaging as well as honest. His is the work of a fascinatingly complex individual, clearheaded and intermittently cantankerous, calmly articulate, hungry for truth, and above all, appealingly forthright."--Philadelphia Inquirer"Lopate has the true essayist's gift of living on the page ."--The New York Times