Phillip Lopate is a central figure in the resurgence of the
American essay, both through his best-selling anthology The Art
of the Personal Essay and his collections, Bachelorhood,
Against Joie de Vivre, Portrait of My Body, Portrait Inside My
Head and To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary
Nonfiction. He directs the nonfiction MFA program at Columbia
University, where he is Professor of Writing.
"A Mother's Tale shines with pain and laughter. . . . Lopate's book is an antisentimental tour de force."--Benjamin Taylor, author of Proust: The Search"With his signature insight and candor, Lopate reveals his mother for the complicated and troubled character she was, and himself--her darling, her confessor, her victim, her judge--as the child behind the writer he was to become. I could not put it down." --Lynn Freed, author of Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home: Life on the Page"According to John Hawkes, 'There is only one subject: failure.' Phillip Lopate's brilliant new triangle of a book explores and embodies this truth with shattering directness. 'I was put on earth to understand my mother's pain and have not gotten very far in the process, ' Lopate writes. Ah, but he has." --David Shields"This latest book from one of America's finest essayists is touching and tender, fascinating and funny--and true in the complex ways that we associate with the best fiction." --Geoff Dyer, author of Otherwise Known as the Human Condition