“As a personal essayist you cannot assume that your readers will know a thing about your background, regardless of how many times you have explained it in previous essays. You must become deft, inserting that information swiftly and casually. In one essay you may decide to make a big thing of your religious training and very little of your family background, and in another, just the opposite. In each case it is a good idea to tell the reader a bit of both because it helps build you into a character.” -Phillip Lopate, Telling True Stories. 

Alex Siegman