Hunger of Memory
Richard Rodriguez, a master of the personal essay, has authored three books of intensely private memory woven with considerations of the great public issues of our time. He describes Hunger of Memory, Days of Obligation, Brown as a trilogy on class, ethnicity, and race, respectively. His most recent book is Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography. Rodriquez's books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Award. His television essays on American life for The PBS NewsHour were recognized with a Peabody Award. He also has written and hosted documentaries on California and Mexico for U.S. and British television. He was a longtime contributor to Harper's Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Rodriguez has lived most of his life in California. Phillip Lopate is an essayist, novelist, and poet. He is a central figure in the revival of the American essay, and his book The Art of the Personal Essay is considered a classic. He has edited numerous anthologies, most recently, The Glorious American Essay and The Golden Age of the American Essay: 1945-1970. He is a professor of nonfiction at Columbia University.
Praise for Richard Rodriguez and Hunger of Memory
"For over thirty years now, Richard Rodriguez has maintained a fierce, rigorous, ironic, and sincere cross-examination of both contemporary America and himself....[His] refusal to settle for easy answers or fixed assumptions is exactly what makes Rodriguez so essential."
-Pico Iyer, New York Review of Books
"Rodriguez is an interesting, unpredictable thinker and writer; the opportunity to enter his mind should be reason enough to read one of his books."
"Arresting...Splendidly written...Hunger of Memory reveals the fathomless capacity of language to reshape experience. The author is profoundly honest, hauntingly so...A deeply humanistic voice.""
"Superb...In Hunger of Memory, Mr. Rodriguez offers himself as an example of the long labor of change: its costs, about which he is movingly frank, its loneliness, but also its triumph."
-New York Times Book Review
"Paradox has always been at the heart of Rodriguez's brilliant personal essays, whether he was pondering, in Hunger of Memory (1982), the conflict between public and private selves; or defining, in Days of Obligation (1992), the split in his multicultural soul between his American faith in the future and his Mexican sense of the tragic past; or dissecting, in Brown (2002), the incendiary topic of race in America....They all reflect his remarkable ability to penetrate the contradictions of our lives, reveling in them as much as understanding them."
"The exquisite clarity of Mr. Rodriguez's writing is the product of long care, an attention to nuance that, one senses, is not only esthetic but moral."
-The New York Times
"Richard Rodriguez may be the most empathic essayist in America....His sentences are reliable joys."
-The New Yorker