David Lazar

David Lazar (CNF, Poetry) | Chicago, IL

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David Lazar was a Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction for 2015-16. His books include Who’s Afraid of Helen of Troy, After Montaigne, Occasional Desire: Essays, The Body of Brooklyn, Truth in Nonfiction, Essaying the Essay, Powder Town, Michael Powell: Interviews, and Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher. Forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press are I’ll Be Your Mirror: Essays and Aphorisms, and Characters. Seven of his essays have been “Notable Essays of the Year” according to Best American Essays. Lazar received the first PhD in the United States in nonfiction writing, in 1989. He then created the PhD program in nonfiction writing at Ohio University and directed the creation of the undergraduate and M.F.A. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago where he is Professor of Creative Writing. He is founding editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika, now in its seventeenth year, and series editor, with Patrick Madden, of 21st Century Essays, at Ohio State University Press.


I’ll Be Your Mirror: Essays and Aphorisms (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). Essays. CNF.
Who’s Afraid of Helen of Troy (Etruscan Press, 2016). Prose Poems. Poetry.
After Montaigne: Essays of Montaigne Re-thought by Contemporary Essayists (University of Georgia Press, 2015). Co-edited with Patrick Madden. Essays. CNF.

Essaying the Essay. Anthology of Essays on the Essay (Welcome Table Press, 2014). Edited. With introduction. Essays. CNF.
Occasional Desire: Essays (University of Nebraska Press, 2013). Edited. Essays. CNF.
Powder Town ( Pecan Grove Press, 2008). Prose poems. Poetry.

Truth In Nonfiction: Anthology of essays (University of Iowa Press, 2008). Edited. Essays. CNF.
The Body of Brooklyn: Personal Essays (University of Iowa Press, 2003). Essays. CNF.
Michael Powell: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi, 2003). Interviews and essays. CNF.

Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher (University Press of Mississippi. 1993). Interviews and essay. CNF.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“David Lazar is a writer’s writer’s writer”
—M.F.K. Fisher

“David Lazar is both a charmer and a challenger. His supple, cultivated mind is constantly moving, full of surprises; his puckish wit and exacting standards raise the bar for all contemporary literary nonfiction. This is an exciting collection, drawing strength from both the grand essay tradition and the cutting edge, and it is highly recommended.”
—Phillip Lopate, editor of The Art of the Personal Essay

“David Lazar is a master of shimmering threshold moments, where acts of assertion and discovery face off (or is it hold hands?). Offering startling intimacies, gentle beckonings, and the severities of hard-won truths, Lazar is fearless about this core belief: investigations of form and self are one and the same adventure.”
—Lia Purpura, author of Rough Likeness: Essays

“The spirits of past masters (Montaigne and Charles Lamb among them) animate and infuse the enthralling essays of David Lazar, a succinct virtuoso, whose gift is rueful, charm-filled introspection. His recollections and avowals unfurl with stellar melodiousness, and with a skilled comic’s perfect timing.”
—Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Humiliation

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