: That’s something that I really enjoy about your writing.
Primarily we read Montaigne, Hazlitt, and Lamb, but also a broad group of essayists that you don’t find much in the anthologies. I could do the basics before I ever read those writers, but my writing became a lot more interesting, at least to me, and I feel that it improved a lot, and that was the key for me.
A lot of literary nonfiction is narrative based, it’s memoir—and there’re some great memoirs, works that are influential, and I appreciate them a lot—but I love thinking.
I've led with John Hodgman's photo above not as one of the official top ten--his new book, .
My favorite photo on the list is also the smallest, just a little two-shot above the author bio on the back flap of their book, the definitive account of the Enron collapse by journalists who helped make it happen.
They do share some of their own lives, but their main focus isn’t to tell you something that happened.
Like I said, my life is pretty mundane—though I do have six kids, which makes for some interesting experiences—but I didn’t have a troubled childhood that I overcame, I haven’t done anything extraordinary, so I really liked finding these essayists who likewise were just writing about regular life.) from their iconic images: Baldwin's giant, weary eyes, Beckett's hawklike brow and crest, Djuna Barnes's boyishly dolled-up profile.They (or their promoters) hardly neglected the importance of constructing such a public image, and their art hasn't suffered from its propagation.With that said, as you mentioned, you do have narrative elements from your life in most of these essays, if not all of them.I’m curious, when you’re approaching a new essay is it a thematic idea first that you then scaffold and attach the narrative to, or do you begin with the narrative? For instance, the essay “Entering and Breaking,” which is about my sons going missing for a couple of hours, that was certainly driven by an event that I wanted to write about.(Mc Lean, reporting in , was one of the first to publicly question its finances.) Even in these few pixels you get a sense of their partnership, with Mc Lean elbowing her way into a majority of the photo and Elkind not appearing to mind at all. I've sung its praises before, but I am still unable to look at this picture, from one artist to another of course--right back atcha, Amy--without collapsing in the laughter of love and admiration for her sheer commitment to character. Right behind Sedaris in the ranks of deadpan greatness is "Sandy" Frazier.