My 1980s & Other Essays

My 1980s & Other Essays

By (author) Wayne Koestenbaum


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Wayne Koestenbaum returns with a zesty and hyper-literate collection of personal and critical essays Wayne Koestenbaum has been described as "an impossible lovechild from a late-night, drunken three-way between Joan Didion, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag" ("Bidoun"). In "My 1980s and Other Essays," a collection of extravagant range and style, he rises to the challenge of that improbable description. "My 1980s and Other Essays" opens with a series of manifestos--or, perhaps more appropriately, a series of impassioned disclosures, intellectual and personal. It then proceeds to wrestle with a series of major cultural figures, the author's own lodestars and lodestones: literary (John Ashbery, Roberto Bolano, James Schuyler), artistic (Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol), and simply iconic (Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Lana Turner). And then there is the personal--the voice, the style, the flair--that is unquestionably Koestenbaum. It amounts to a kind of intellectual autobiography that culminates in a string of passionate calls to creativity; arguments in favor of detail and nuance, and attention; a defense of pleasure, hunger, and desire in culture and experience. Koestenbaum is perched on the cusp of being a true public intellectual--his venues are more mainstream than academic, his style is eye-catching, his prose unfailingly witty and passionate, his interests profoundly wide-ranging and popular. "My 1980s" should be the book that pushes Koestenbaum off that cusp and truly into the public eye.

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  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 126 x 188 x 26mm | 180g
  • 13 Aug 2013
  • Farrar Straus Giroux
  • English
  • 0374533776
  • 9780374533779
  • 141,964

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Author Information

Wayne Koestenbaum is an American poet and cultural critic. He received a BA from Harvard University, an MA from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD from Princeton University. He lives in New York City, where he is Distinguished Professor of English at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

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