Herbert Leibowitz

Author of Fabricating Lives

Portrait of Herbert LeibowitzHerbert Leibowitz

Herbert Leibowitz

Herbert Leibowitz (1935- ), an author and literary critic, was born in Staten Island, NY. He’s worked as a lecturer and instructor at various institutions in New York, including City University, Hunter College, and New York University. He is currently the Editor and Publisher of Parnassus: Poetry in Review. In 2007, he received the Poetry Foundation’s Randall Jarrell Prize for Criticism.

cover image of the book Fabricating Lives

Fabricating Lives

Long fascinated by the “renegade power” of autobiography and by “its multiple forms of self-disclosure and self-concealment,” Herbert Leibowitz explores his lifelong interest in Fabricating Lives. A lively and original study of eight American autobiographers, the book examines the problem posed by an art where craftiness is hand in glove with craft: after all, a memoirist wants us to perceive him in a certain way; how do we penetrate his strategies and subterfuges? “The self,” Leibowitz answers, “reveals itself through style.” To discover the human essence of his subjects, he scrutinizes their styles (including Benjamin Franklin’s plain talk and “possum’s wit,” Gertrude Stein’s “gossipy ventriloquism,” and William Carlos Williams’ “grumpy clowning” and foxy innocence), looking beyond their visions of themselves to their true identities.

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