Any Person Is the Only Self

Essays

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request. Sign In or Register Now
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

1
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date Jun 11 2024 | Archive Date Jul 11 2024

Description

Contagiously curious essays on reading, art, and the life of the mind, from the acclaimed author of The Unreality of Memory.

Who are we when we read? When we journal? Are we more ourselves alone or with friends? Right now or in memory? How does time transform us and the art we love?

In sixteen dazzling, expansive essays, the acclaimed essayist and poet Elisa Gabbert explores a life lived alongside books of all kinds: dog-eared and destroyed, cherished and discarded, classic and clichėd, familiar and profoundly new. She turns her witty, searching mind to the writers she admires, from Plath to Proust, and the themes that bind them—chance, freedom, envy, ambition, nostalgia, and happiness. She takes us to the strange edges of art and culture, from hair metal to surf movies to party fiction. Any Person Is the Only Self is a love letter to literature and to life, inviting us to think alongside one of our most thrilling and versatile critics.

Contagiously curious essays on reading, art, and the life of the mind, from the acclaimed author of The Unreality of Memory.

Who are we when we read? When we journal? Are we more ourselves alone or...


A Note From the Publisher

Elisa Gabbert is the author of the poetry collections L’Heure Bleue, The Self Unstable, and The French Exit. Her debut collection of essays, The Word Pretty, was published in 2018. The Self Unstable was chosen by the New Yorker as one of the best books of 2013. Gabbert's work has appeared in The New Yorker, Boston Review, The Paris Review Daily, Pacific Standard, Guernica, The Awl, Electric Literature, The Harvard Review, and many other venues. She lives in Denver.

Elisa Gabbert is the author of the poetry collections L’Heure Bleue, The Self Unstable, and The French Exit. Her debut collection of essays, The Word Pretty, was published in 2018. The Self Unstable...


Advance Praise

Praise for Any Person Is the Only Self

“Gabbert is one of my favorite living writers, whether she’s deconstructing a poem or tweeting about Seinfeld. Her essays are what I love most, and her newest collection—following 2020’s The Unreality of Memory—sees Gabbert in rare form: witty and insightful, clear-eyed and candid. I adored these essays.” —Sophia M. Stewart, The Millions (Most Anticipated)

Any Person is the Only Self is absolutely brilliant, full of clarity and mystery and light: Gabbert effs the ineffable, describes the impossible to describe—the state of reading, what it means to remember. I’m still thinking about these essays, by which I mean still thinking about Gabbert’s own thoughts; I keep bringing them up in conversation. Elisa Gabbert is one of my favorite living writers.” —Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Souvenir Museum and Bowlaway

Praise for The Unreality of Memory

“Gabbert draws masterly portraits of the precise, uncanny affects that govern our psychological relationship to calamity . . . bending crisp, clear language into shapes that illustrate the shifting logic of the disastrous . . . [with] expansive curiosity and encyclopedic style.” —Alexandra Kleeman, The New York Times

“A voice for our anxious, wired times, if ever there was one.” —Hephzibah Anderson, The Guardian

“One of those books that send you to your notebook every page or so . . . A work of uncanny prescience.” —Robin Jones, The Paris Review

“[Gabbert] find[s] angles readers might not otherwise see . . . Like massive buildings, her subjects are hard to fit in a single frame; she circles them, finding all the vantages she can.” —Megan Marz, The Washington Post

“The kind of essays that don’t only teach you things, they leave you thinking harder and deeper about what it means to live in this world.” —Lincoln Michel, BOMB

Praise for Any Person Is the Only Self

“Gabbert is one of my favorite living writers, whether she’s deconstructing a poem or tweeting about Seinfeld. Her essays are what I love most, and her newest...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780374605896
PRICE $18.00 (USD)
PAGES 240

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 28 members


Featured Reviews

As soon as I read the synopsis for this essay collection, I knew it was totally in my wheelhouse -- I mean, essays about books, reading, writing, memory, the self? Sign me up! Which is why I acquired and read it as fast as I possibly could. I'm delighted to say that it was an extremely pleasurable and thought provoking collection to read and my already high expectations were far exceeded.

Elisa Gabbert writes with such fervor, tact, and intellectual curiosity of the things in life that interest her and she is passionate about. This made for every essay being just as compelling, insightful, and a joy to read as the last. Her ability to take two or sometimes three seemingly different topics and weave them together with near seamless prose over the course of a long essay, was incredible and stunning. And I really admire the amount of research and time that most likely went into each essay and how well it was conveyed on the page.

This is a book for bookish people. In my mind, each essay was the equivalent of Gabbert grabbing my hand as the reader and taking me on an evening stroll to show me the inner workings of her mind and perspective. She's a writer who isn't afraid to think deeply, connect the dots, and then succeed in putting those words to the page for us to ponder and also think deeply about. This is definitely a new favorite and I'm super excited to read more of her work.

Was this review helpful?

These essays are smart, meandering, and insightful. They inspire readers to ask questions. Themes range from authors and books, reading and re-reading, identity, time, and art. I would use this book and particular essays to ignite conversations and free writing with students on the questions Gabbert poses. Highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Elisa Gabbert finds a way to achieve what many writers try to, whether in fiction or nonfiction: talking about a love of something that feels organic while also endearing. Gabbert's essays are both insightful and funny while also leaving room for caution of the self: how do we define who we are by participating in experiences or allowing experiences to shape us? While the majority of these perspectives are projected through books Gabbert has read, her ability to transform the power of reading into something more macro and philosophical is breezy, cool, and inviting. Rarely has a book ignited in me a call to action to gladly inform myself of how to be excited about the future--and more importantly--what future books I'll be gobbling like Gabbert's.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: