Originally edited by Dorothy Lobrano Guth, and revised and updated by Martha White. With a foreword by John Updike.
These letters are, of course, beautifully written but above all personal, precise, and honest. They evoke E.B. White’s life in New York and in Maine at every stage of his life. They are full of memorable characters: White’s family, the New Yorker staff and contributors, literary types and show business people, farmers from Maine and sophisticates from New York-Katherine S. White, Harold Ross, James Thurber, Alexander Woolcott, Groucho Marx, John Updike, and many, many more.
Each decade has its own look and taste and feel. Places, too-from Belgrade (Maine) to Turtle Bay (NYC) to the S.S. Buford, Alaska-bound in 1923-are brought to life in White’s descriptions. There is no other book of letters to compare with this; it is a book to treasure and savor at one’s leisure.
As White wrote in this book, “A man who publishes his letters becomes nudist—nothing shields him from the world’s gaze except his bare skin....a man who has written a letter is stuck with it for all time.”
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About the Author
E. B. White, the author of such beloved classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, then in its infancy. He died on October 1, 1985, and was survived by his son and three grandchildren.
Mr. White's essays have appeared in Harper's magazine, and some of his other books are: One Man's Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, Letters of E. B. White, Essays of E. B. White, and Poems and Sketches of E. B. White. He won countless awards, including the 1971 National Medal for Literature and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which commended him for making a "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."
During his lifetime, many young readers asked Mr. White if his stories were true. In a letter written to be sent to his fans, he answered, "No, they are imaginary tales . . . But real life is only one kind of life—there is also the life of the imagination."