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At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays

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At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In At Large and At Small, Anne Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay — a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences. With the combination of humor and erudition that has distinguished her as one of our finest essayists, Fadiman draws us into twelve of her personal obsessions: from her slightly sinister childhood enthusiasm for catching butterflies to her monumental crush on Charles Lamb, from her wistfulness for the days of letter-writing to the challenges and rewards of moving from the city to the country.

Many of these essays were composed "under the influence" of the subject at hand. Fadiman ingests a shocking amount of ice cream and divulges her passion for Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip and her brother's homemade Liquid Nitrogen Kahlúa Coffee (recipe included); she sustains a terrific caffeine buzz while recounting Balzac's coffee addiction; and she stays up till dawn to write about being a night owl, examining the rhythms of our circadian clocks and sharing such insomnia cures as her father's nocturnal word games and Lewis Carroll's mathematical puzzles.

At Large and At Small is a brilliant and delightful collection of essays that harkens a revival of a long-cherished genre.

Review:

"Fadiman, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner for The Spirit Catches You and You Fall, makes a bold claim: 'I believe the survival of the familiar essay is worth fighting for.' The 'familiar essays' that Fadiman champions and writes are in the mold of the early 19th century, rather than critical or personal works as we've come to know them. Her essays combine a personal perspective with a far-reaching curiosity about the world, resulting in pieces that are neither so objective the reader can't see the writer behind them nor too self-absorbed. And spending some time with Fadiman is a pure delight. She loves the natural world and taxonomies of all kinds, as well as ice cream and coffee. Her love of the romantic age goes beyond the stylistic, and she prefers Coleridge and Lamb over Wordsworth and Southey. The collection rolls good-naturedly through its subjects until the final piece — an account of a whitewater rafting trip that went tragically awry, a harrowing reminder of the stakes on which all endeavors rest. This collection is a perfectly faceted little gem. Essayists, of both the critical and personal sort, could do worse than to follow Fadiman into the realm of the familiar. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Although Fadiman is overly fond of long lists, the later essays hold your interest as she reveals little-known facts and challenges your thinking." Library Journal

Review:

"These are wonderful essays. The writing is effortless, elegant, and clear, the subjects delightful or weighty or both. Anne Fadiman had me completely charmed by page four." Ian Frazier

Review:

"Anne Fadiman wins our attention by directing hers with unwavering focus at the world around her. Her perceptions are astute and her sensibility is so rich and sane no calculation could violate it. The personal essay was invented so that writers like Fadiman could practice it." Sven Birkerts

Review:

"A master of the tangential, a close observer, and a lover of language, Fadiman is blithely brilliant in her pursuit of beauty and meaning as she wrestles with questions of life, death, and rebirth." Booklist

Synopsis:

Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay — a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences.

Synopsis:

In At Large and At Small, Anne Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay--a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences. With the combination of humor and erudition that has distinguished her as one of our finest essayists, Fadiman draws us into twelve of her personal obsessions: from her slightly sinister childhood enthusiasm for catching butterflies to her monumental crush on Charles Lamb, from her wistfulness for the days of letter-writing to the challenges and rewards of moving from the city to the country.

Many of these essays were composed "under the influence" of the subject at hand. Fadiman ingests a shocking amount of ice cream and divulges her passion for Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip and her brother's homemade Liquid Nitrogen Kahlúa Coffee (recipe included); she sustains a terrific caffeine buzz while recounting Balzac's coffee addiction; and she stays up till dawn to write about being a night owl, examining the rhythms of our circadian clocks and sharing such insomnia cures as her father's nocturnal word games and Lewis Carroll's mathematical puzzles. At Large and At Small is a brilliant and delightful collection of essays that harkens a revival of a long-cherished genre.

About the Author

Anne Fadiman is the Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale. She is the author of Ex Libris (FSG, 1998) and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (FSG, 1997, recipient of a National Book Critics Circle Award), and the editor of Rereadings (FSG, 2005).

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

cmcclarin, July 12, 2007 (view all comments by cmcclarin)
I can't wait to add this book of essays to my collection. This form of expression is one that really resonates with me, far more than a thriller or an autobiography. In her voice (and in the voice of other essayists) I find my own life and my own sense of curiosity about why I am the way I am. Thank you, Anne!
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(18 of 39 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374106621
Subtitle:
Familiar Essays
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Author:
Fadiman, Anne
Author:
ne Fadiman
Author:
An
Subject:
Essays
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080527
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
7.5 x 5.03 x 0.65 in

Related Subjects

Reference » Books on Books
Reference » Reading

At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 240 pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux - English 9780374106621 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Fadiman, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner for The Spirit Catches You and You Fall, makes a bold claim: 'I believe the survival of the familiar essay is worth fighting for.' The 'familiar essays' that Fadiman champions and writes are in the mold of the early 19th century, rather than critical or personal works as we've come to know them. Her essays combine a personal perspective with a far-reaching curiosity about the world, resulting in pieces that are neither so objective the reader can't see the writer behind them nor too self-absorbed. And spending some time with Fadiman is a pure delight. She loves the natural world and taxonomies of all kinds, as well as ice cream and coffee. Her love of the romantic age goes beyond the stylistic, and she prefers Coleridge and Lamb over Wordsworth and Southey. The collection rolls good-naturedly through its subjects until the final piece — an account of a whitewater rafting trip that went tragically awry, a harrowing reminder of the stakes on which all endeavors rest. This collection is a perfectly faceted little gem. Essayists, of both the critical and personal sort, could do worse than to follow Fadiman into the realm of the familiar. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Although Fadiman is overly fond of long lists, the later essays hold your interest as she reveals little-known facts and challenges your thinking."
"Review" by , "These are wonderful essays. The writing is effortless, elegant, and clear, the subjects delightful or weighty or both. Anne Fadiman had me completely charmed by page four."
"Review" by , "Anne Fadiman wins our attention by directing hers with unwavering focus at the world around her. Her perceptions are astute and her sensibility is so rich and sane no calculation could violate it. The personal essay was invented so that writers like Fadiman could practice it."
"Review" by , "A master of the tangential, a close observer, and a lover of language, Fadiman is blithely brilliant in her pursuit of beauty and meaning as she wrestles with questions of life, death, and rebirth."
"Synopsis" by , Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay — a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences.
"Synopsis" by ,
In At Large and At Small, Anne Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay--a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences. With the combination of humor and erudition that has distinguished her as one of our finest essayists, Fadiman draws us into twelve of her personal obsessions: from her slightly sinister childhood enthusiasm for catching butterflies to her monumental crush on Charles Lamb, from her wistfulness for the days of letter-writing to the challenges and rewards of moving from the city to the country.

Many of these essays were composed "under the influence" of the subject at hand. Fadiman ingests a shocking amount of ice cream and divulges her passion for Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip and her brother's homemade Liquid Nitrogen Kahlúa Coffee (recipe included); she sustains a terrific caffeine buzz while recounting Balzac's coffee addiction; and she stays up till dawn to write about being a night owl, examining the rhythms of our circadian clocks and sharing such insomnia cures as her father's nocturnal word games and Lewis Carroll's mathematical puzzles. At Large and At Small is a brilliant and delightful collection of essays that harkens a revival of a long-cherished genre.

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