Windham Campbell Prizes: The Art of the Essay

Windham Campbell Prizes have kindly made available a recent 'Art of the Essay' panel discussion, recorded at their 2015 Festival, featuring three leading contemporary essayists (and two of my favourites). The discussion between Anne Fadiman, John … [Read more...]

Robservations addendum: Tesson adds strength to the notion of ‘overreading’

In a kind of addendum to my “Robservations” essay in which I suggest with the help of nineteenth-century German philosopher Schopenhauer and French philosopher and spiritual writer, Antonin-Gilbert Sertillanges that reading too many books is bad for … [Read more...]

Robservations: Of Schopenhauer, on overreading and ignoring the classics

It’s not often that I get deep and meaningful on a Sunday morning, but I did today when I stumbled across an essay collection from nineteenth-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), hosted at the always useful University of … [Read more...]

Essay review: ‘Memory Laps’ by David Sedaris

Story Title: 'Memory Laps' by David Sedaris. Source: Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls (Abacus) Date Read: 06 January 2014 Afterthoughts: At age 50 Sedaris decided not to pursue an interest in opera - something which he says that an older person can … [Read more...]

Essay review: ‘Think Differenter’ by David Sedaris

Story Title: 'Think Differenter' by David Sedaris. Source: Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls (Abacus) Date Read: 04 January 2014 Afterthoughts: Rather a short essay this one, in which Sedaris still manages to cover a fair amount of ground. He … [Read more...]

Essay review: ‘Attaboy’ by David Sedaris

Story Title: 'Attaboy' by David Sedaris. Source: Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls (Abacus) Date Read: 03 January 2014 Afterthoughts: In this essay Sedaris bemoans the lack of discipline shown by today's parents, while reflecting on his own … [Read more...]

Essay review: ‘Dentists Without Borders’ by David Sedaris

Story Title: 'Dentists Without Borders' by David Sedaris. Source: Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls (Abacus) Date Read: 02 January 2014 Afterthoughts: In this opener to his latest collection, David Sedaris invites the reader into the privacy of … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

My first experience reading David Sedaris came about six years ago when I picked up Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim. It was second-hand copy, and I remember when I bought it in a charity shop in Perth (Scotland). It’s the one that has a cover … [Read more...]

‘Now We Are Five’ by David Sedaris

Story Title: 'Now We Are Five' by David Sedaris. Source: New Yorker website Date Read: 29th October 2013 Afterthoughts: There I was midway through David Sedaris' latest essay collection, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls (Abacus Publishing) and … [Read more...]

Essay ‘book bites’ for Monday 25th February 2013

"The resurrection of the essay is a mirage" - Adam Kirsch has penned a rather interesting piece over on the New Republic website on the perceived rising popularity of the personal essay. Focussing on those he terms the 'new essayists' i.e David … [Read more...]