Category Archives: Commentary

Getting Personal, by Susan Olding, LA Review of Books, September 23, 2011

“That the essayist’s persona is as constructed as any other author’s ought to be obvious. But until Carl Klaus, few seemed aware of it. In The Made-Up Self: Impersonation in the Personal Essay, Klaus, founder of Iowa’s nonfiction program and Professor Emeritus there, brings many decades of deliberation to a subject that until now has almost escaped observation. What makes his book uniquely rewarding is his double perspective. Klaus has studied and taught the essay, but he is also a practitioner of the form. In The Made-Up Self he brings the academic’s critical intelligence together with the essayist’s graceful prose in a fascinating and multi-faceted exploration of the genre that David Shields calls the “theater of the brain.”