i thought this book was really interesting - she writes both about other people's writing and about her own (the "other people" are edith stein, walt whitman, czeslaw milosz, augustine, anne frank, and sylvia plath). i found a couple of the pieces about other writers to be a bit dry and tedious, but the essays about her own life and writing more than made up for that! the emphasis is on memoir and why this genre resonates with us even if the person's life we are reading about is quite different from our own. this was a favorite part: "memoirists, unlike fiction writers, do not really want to 'tell a story.' they want to tell it all - the all of personal experience, of consciousness itself. that includes a story, but also the whole expanding universe of sensation and thought that flows beyond the confines of narrative and proves every life to be not only an isolated story line but a bit of the cosmos, spinning and streaming into the great, ungraspable pattern of existence. memoirists wish to tell their mind, not their story." (p. 18) if you connected with that excerpt, give the book a try.