Posts Tagged: personal essay

The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Amy Benson

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Our American obsession with the personal and individual has made us the tremendous resource consumers we are in the world. ...more

Allowing a Female to Own Her Genius: Talking with Alana Massey

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Alana Massey discusses her debut collection, All the Lives I Want, the best piece of writing advice she's ever received, and acknowledging the work that women do. ...more

The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Pain Scale Treaties

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Perched on the shoulders of generational trauma sit these two theses: suffering begets cruelty begets suffering begets cruelty, and pain is empathy’s catalyst. ...more

The Saturday Rumpus Essay: 69 Love Songs

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Everywhere people are shoving things into the ground—time capsules not to be opened until the year 2100, the more optimistic postmarked for 3000—letters to the future in the language of the now. ...more

The Saturday Rumpus Essay: The Kill Shot

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1964, a month prior to the anniversary of JFK’s assassination, a different home movie shot. Infant toss. Up-down. Plummeting. I’m ten months of age—picking up speed. ...more

Measuring Emotion

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At Lit Hub, a former student talks with Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams, about expressions of emotion in personal essays and why “confession and sentimentality [are] taboo.” For Jamison, the investigation of writing emotion began in her MFA program: “I hated this sort of smug assumption that we all knew what was bad.” At the same time, Jamison says, “I was deeply afraid of being seen as someone who was making too much out of a personal experience that actually wasn’t that hard.”

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Used to Be Schwartz

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When I told my friend Aharon that my family name used to be Schwartz, he said, “Used to be Schwartz—sounds like a Borscht Belt act.” ...more

The Saturday Rumpus Essay: A Brief History of a Bad Heart

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She studies you, still panting with an energy that consumes the room, and whispers in a reedy voice: “They say you fucked up your heart.” ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Meghan Daum and Elliott Holt

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Meghan Daum, the anthology's editor, and Elliott Holt, who contributed its penultimate essay, discuss Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed. ...more

The Sunday Rumpus Interview: A Roundtable on Writing, Editing, and Race

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With Lisa Factora-Borchers, Patrice Gopo, Jennifer Niesslein, Tamiko Nimura, and Deesha Philyaw. ...more

Female Friendships and Online Literary Sexism

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As an essayist who often writes from personal experience and who’s working on a memoir, I believe deeply it is a feminist act for women to tell their stories. ...more

Language, Love, and Loss

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Over at The Toast, Nicole Chung has written a deeply personal and beautiful essay about coming to terms with her adoption, embracing her Korean heritage, and learning her mother tongue alongside her daughter:

When I watch my daughter writing in Korean, when we talk about our family history, when she seems sure about who she is … and her place in our family and in the world, I cannot help but feel there are many different kinds of victories to be found, and many ways to heal.

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Valeria Luiselli’s Book Club at the Jumex Factory

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To write her new novel, The Story of My Teeth, Valeria Luiselli got ongoing book club feedback from workers at the Jumex factory featured in the novel. Over at Broadly, Luiselli talks to Lauren Oyler about her process, a childhood spent moving, and how to use—rather than abuse—the personal in essays:

I think that maybe there is too much emphasis on voice, especially when writing personal essays, and less care [with] a gaze, a way of saying.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, Grant Snider’s favorite things, in rhyme.

In The Last Book I Loved, Richard Kramer delves into the “determined and effective” Judith Schneiderman’s memoir, I Sang To Survive. A “propulsive drive” lies behind the Auschwitz survivor’s writing. “What I love most about her book,” Kramer writes, “is the joy with which she tells it, the many moments when her words and insights jump off the page, glowing, specific.”

Lastly, in an animated conversation about story writing and storytelling, “that cool girl” Megan Stielstra opens up about her creative process.

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