The Doubles by Veronica Esposito

CREATIVE NONFICTION
MEMOIR

FILM STUDIES
FILM THEORY

ISBN: 978-1-951628-03-1
240 pages
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Second Edition: January 2020
Civil Coping Mechanisms

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“Veronica Esposito is a true American cosmopolitan—full of ideas and void of pretensions. Her way of seeing—inquisitive and gentle—her way of writing—honest and charismatic—are a life-line out of our self congratulatory provincialism.”
—Álvaro Enrigue, author of Sudden Death

“Readers of Veronica Esposito’s Conversational Reading blog already know her to be one of the most perspicacious literary critics in America. But to read The Doubles is to discover something else: that she is as thrillingly insightful about film, and about human experience, as she is about literature. With a bounding intelligence, a tremendous—and seemingly effortless—erudition, with enormous soulfulness, energy and wit, Esposito strains her life through the prism of cinema (or is it the other way around?) and arrives at something magnificent: a work of sustained criticism that is itself a work of high art, and a profound meditation on how the art we see becomes who we are.”
—Mathew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine and Los Angeles Review of Books Senior Editor

“Art and life, life and art: What is the border between them, or does it even exist? In The Doubles, Veronica Esposito deftly blurs the line. Framed through the lens of film criticism, The Doubles is, in fact, a book that defies categorization, jump-cutting narrative (cultural and otherwise), memoir, and aesthetic insight into a hybrid that is often surprising and always rigorous. In the process, The Doubles manages to highlight both art’s effect and its necessity: the way a work (or works) can get inside us, transforming not only how we think but also who we are.”
—David L. Ulin, author of Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles

Part memoir-through-film, part inquiry into the effect art has on our lives, The Doubles is a passionate, exquisitely written examination of 14 films that have come to define her. Retelling one film per year, and covering 20 years of Esposito’s life from 1996 – 2016, The Doubles shows the development via film the formation of self-identity. From classic cinema like A Clockwork Orange to cosmological documentaries like A Brief History of Time to offbeat works like Koyaanisqatsi and major contemporary fare like Boyhood, Esposito’s book inquires into the possibilities of a medium that has made us all.


VERONICA ESPOSITO is a critic, writer, and editor whose work has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. In 2004 she created the widely praised literary website Conversational Reading, which can be found at http://conversationalreading.com.