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I'll Be Your Mirror

Essays and Aphorisms

David Lazar

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 11/2017
Pages: 224
Subject: Literary Collections
eBook ISBN: 9781496205186


In his third book of essays, David Lazar blends personal meditations on sex and death with considerations of popular music and coping with anxiety through singing, bowling, and other distractions. He sets his work apart as both in the essay and of the essay by throwing himself into the form's past—interviewing or speaking to past masters and turning over rocks to find lost gems of the essay form.I'll Be Your Mirror further expands the dimensions of contemporary nonfiction writing by concluding with a series of aphorisms. Surreal, comical, and urban moments of being, they are part Cioran, part Kafka, and part Lenny Bruce. These are accompanied by Heather Frise's illustrations, whose looking-glass visions of motherhood—funny and grotesque—meet the vision of the aphorist in this most unusual nonfiction book.  


David Lazar is a professor of creative writing and English at Columbia College Chicago. He is the editor of the journal Hotel Amerika and the author of several books, including Who's Afraid of Helen of Troy: An Essay on Love and Occasional Desire: Essays (Nebraska, 2013). Heather Frise is a filmmaker, educator, and visual artist. She recently worked on the National Film Board of Canada's Emmy award–winning Highrise.


"Traditional aphorisms are stand-alone wisecracks, but David Lazar's are more like stairs up into a strange isolation or down into the stranger isolation of our community with each other—'The bliss of opening the door and finding no one there.' They are an ultraviolet that illuminates without lightening; they are genially at home in the dark. Exhilarating and unpredictable reading."—James Richardson, author of During and By the Numbers: Poems and Aphorisms   

"In David Lazar's essays, the ostensible subjects become mindstream explorations in which music and memory dance to the intimate mysteries of human love and longing."—Lawrence Sutin, author of A Postcard Memoir and Jack and Rochelle