Last weekend I read three stellar reviews of my friend Phillip Lopate’s new book, Two Marriages. and I am so proud! Even though us literary friends relish reading our own favorable book reviews, it is equally spectacular to read those of others who we admire. In the same way, there is a certain adrenaline rush and silent camaraderie when wandering through bookstores and spotting our friends’ books on the shelves.
Lopate, who has been primarily known as the ‘guru of the personal essay,’ after a 21-year hiatus has ventured back to fiction. I greatly admire how he can successfully maneuver between fiction and nonfiction. His new book, of two novellas, is not only next on my reading list because I love reading the works of my favorite colleagues, but also, I try to read any memoir or novel which incorporates the diary or journal form in its prose. In Two Marriages, the lead character (in one of the two novellas) is an academic who begins a diary to record his magical new marriage to the nurse who looked after his dying mother. Naturally, that bubble is burst and I look forward to finding out how.
Next time I will comment on the Red Leather Diary by Lilly Koppel, but in the meantime, if you know of any other books which fall into this category, please do tell!