[An] original and important book…Mr. Leibowitz pries the marrow from the bones of the authors’ language and freezes the flickering shadows of their masks and self-evasions.
—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Fabricating Lives

Nonfiction by Herbert Leibowitz

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.

Editions: Paperback

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Paperback (published June 1, 1991)

ISBN
9780811211680
Price US
14.95

Herbert Leibowitz

Author of Fabricating Lives

[An] original and important book…Mr. Leibowitz pries the marrow from the bones of the authors’ language and freezes the flickering shadows of their masks and self-evasions.
—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times