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But Enough About Me: Why We Read Other People's Lives
     

But Enough About Me: Why We Read Other People's Lives

by Nancy K. Miller
 

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Through the memoirs of contemporaries and pieces of her autobiography, Miller explores the unexpected ways that the stories of other people's lives give meaning to our own. But Enough About Me is a group biography, or even an ethnography, of women, primarily middle-class and urban, now in their fifties and sixties. The book also mounts a defense of the

Overview

Through the memoirs of contemporaries and pieces of her autobiography, Miller explores the unexpected ways that the stories of other people's lives give meaning to our own. But Enough About Me is a group biography, or even an ethnography, of women, primarily middle-class and urban, now in their fifties and sixties. The book also mounts a defense of the memoir against accusations of terminal narcissism by showing how the forms of life writing -- memoirs, diaries, essays -- are as much about others as they are about their authors.

Editorial Reviews

Women's Review of Books - Cora Kaplan
Miller's book seems more than its sum, larger than its slim weight in the hand... fascinating... poignant... looms large.
Radcliffe Quarterly
Nancy K. Miller's new book is an elegant and witty meditation of self-knowledge, particularly for women. It should be read by all of us who are struggling, in these strange, loudly postfeminist times, to make sense of our stories as they have been interpolated by post-World War II America.
Publishers Weekly
One of the founders of the "personal criticism" movement whereby a critic finds, Montaigne-style, larger truths in meditating on one's experiences, Miller here offers a witty defense of the genre. Lingering over her development as WWII-era New York child, early '60s grad student in a largely male academy, '70s and '80s feminist-critic-in-the-trenches, and '90s author of such books as Getting Personal and Subject to Change, Miller offers reflections on aging (in and out of the academy), friendship and familyDand how reading about them allows us to better construct our own life stories. (Sept.)
Women's Review of Books
Miller's book seems more than its sum, larger than its slim weight in the hand... fascinating... poignant... looms large.

— Cora Kaplan

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231516341
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
08/14/2012
Series:
Gender and Culture Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
File size:
6 MB

What People are Saying About This

Wayne Koestenbaum
In her poignant, mesmerizing new book, Nancy Miller presents the definitive defense of memoir, that much-maligned genre: autobiography, she proves, is not a solipsistic act, but a communal, relational practice. Her clear prose, brimming with ironies, gives unadulterated pleasure; blending narrative and analysis it sets a stylish new standard for innovative critical writing.

Susan Gubar
Miller's strikingly original voice surprises and delights readers with insights into the paradox of memoir—that the stories we tell about ourselves intimately connect us to other people.

Terry Castle
But Enough About Me is doubly graced: being both a brilliant comic memoir about coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s and a passionate defense of the autobiographer's art. Nancy K. Miller has been writing extraordinary books for some time now, but for eloquence, daring, and sheer moral sentience her new book comes as close to perfection as anything she has done. She is profound on the subject of what 'life-writing' means for women—she thinks it, paradoxically, our best rebuke to narcissism and self-absorption—then proves it by way of a personal narrative in which wit, truthfulness, and a deep respect for the lives of others combine in an equal and inspiriting measure.

Diane Middlebrook
With a touch as light as it is deft, her memoir connects the dots that are some of this century's 'collective turning points,' just by telling where she was, what she was reading and wearing. I can't remember when I last read a work of non-fiction that gave me so much pleasure from beginning to end.

Meet the Author

Nancy K. Miller is distinguished professor of English and comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of Bequest and Betrayal, Getting Personal, and other books.


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