Any Person Is the Only Self: Essays (Paperback)

Any Person Is the Only Self: Essays By Elisa Gabbert Cover Image

Any Person Is the Only Self: Essays (Paperback)


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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.

Elisa Gabbert is the author of Normal Distance, The Unreality of Memory, and several other collections of poetry, essays, and criticism. She writes the On Poetry column for The New York Times, and her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, The Believer, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, and other publications.
Product Details ISBN: 9780374605896
ISBN-10: 0374605890
Publisher: FSG Originals
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English

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
—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