Room for Doubt

Publisher: Vintage
Room for Doubt is Wendy Lesser’s account of three separate but interlocking occasions for doubt: her stay in Berlin, a city she had never expected to visit; her unwritten book on the philosopher David Hume; and her long friendship with the writer Leonard Michaels, which constantly broke down and yet endured. Through this unusual journey, Lesser in the end shows us how, once examined, things are never quite what she thought they were.


Part One: Out of Berlin

I expected to go a lifetime without ever setting foot in Germany. When I first began traveling to Europe as a college student, it was Ireland, Britain, Holland, France, and Italy that I ended up visiting—neither wholly by chance nor wholly by choice, but in that drifty, in-...
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"Delightful. . . . [Lesser] makes it possible to find yourself, and your own relationships, in her raw anatomy of love between friends." —Los Angeles Times“The three intensely personal essays that make up this trenchant little volume display Lesser’s talent for brilliant, merciless self-criticism. She emerges as quirkily attractive and consistently interesting.” —The Atlantic Monthly"It is [Lesser’s] growing sense of doubt that expands and textures these essays as she reveals . . . the foiled expectations, unexpected discoveries and lively contradictions nested in her subjects." —San Francisco Chronicle“Erudite, discursive. . . . Her self-knowledge is acutely, fluidly, even beautifully rendered.” —The Washington Post“A sensitive, literate writer with smart and provocative things to say about art and life.” —Houston Chronicle