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.
About 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.
Table of Contents
1. But Enough About Me, What Do You Think of My Memoir?
3. Circa 1959
4. The Marks of Time
5. "Why Am I Not that Woman?''
Epilogue: My Grandfather's Cigarette Case, or What I Learned in Memphis
What People are Saying About This
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 memoirthat 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 womenshe thinks it, paradoxically, our best rebuke to narcissism and self-absorptionthen 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.