Famous Personal Essays

Famous Personal Essays-75
This fall, I taught my freshman composition classes through a pop culture lens.

She does so with an astonishing blend of candor and compassion that makes it so you can’t help but feel for both of them.

Ford’s father has missed so much of his daughter’s life, but that’s not all he has to catch up on.

That’s exactly what Robinson pulls off in this essay.

She doesn’t just prove that the deep black south is the center of many of our musical worlds, she accepts it.

(If you think helping your aging parents with their technology is frustrating, imagine if they’d never owned even a computer.) While her father is trying to learn new ways to connect with his daughter, Ford is also trying to learn how to set healthy boundaries with him, which makes for complications, and tremendous poignancy.

In this nuanced, challenging essay, Claire Dederer crystallizes a particular dilemma that has arisen from this #Me Too moment: Can we continue to enjoy or appreciate the art of men who have turned out to be sexual predators or harassers or discriminators?

This piece by Chelsea Bieker takes all of the swirling pain and fear and rage of the #Me Too moment and brings it back down to earth into one family’s heartbreaking story, which was marred, over and over, by male violence, and by society’s refusal to believe it.

It’s strange when one of the best essayists in the world keeps getting, not just better, but more ambitious, clearer, productively ambiguous, and loving.

There is no impossible, they taught me: only good ideas of extraordinary magnitude.” essay came out early in the year, and it was one I returned to many times.

It reminded me of what power means and how it can come again, even under the most menacing racist climates in history.


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