But Enough About Me: Why We Read Other People's Livesby Nancy K. Miller
In her latest work of personal criticism, Nancy K. Miller tells the story of how a girl who grew up in the 1950s and got lost in the 1960s became a feminist critic in the 1970s. As in her previous books, Miller interweaves pieces of her autobiography with the memoirs of contemporaries in order to explore the unexpected ways that the stories of other people's lives… See more details below
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In her latest work of personal criticism, Nancy K. Miller tells the story of how a girl who grew up in the 1950s and got lost in the 1960s became a feminist critic in the 1970s. As in her previous books, Miller interweaves pieces of her autobiography with the memoirs of contemporaries in order to explore the unexpected ways that the stories of other people's lives give meaning to our own. The evolution she chronicles was lived by a generation of literary girls who came of age in the midst of profound social change and, buoyed by the energy of second-wave feminism, became writers, academics, and activists. Miller's recollections form one woman's installment in a collective memoir that is still unfolding, an intimate page of a group portrait in process.
Miller's book seems more than its sum, larger than its slim weight in the hand... fascinating... poignant... looms large.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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