‘Shrew’ With No Apologies

By Brock Brower The New York Times August 6, 1978 Meryl Streep and Raul Julia are rehearsing The Taming of the Shrew seated on two studio chairs in a rehearsal room at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater. Act II, Scene 1, when Kate and Petruchio meet and clash for the first...

Toni Morrison: Finally Just a Writer

By Helen Dudar The Wall Street Journal September 30, 1987 A few summers ago, Toni Morrison looked out at the Hudson River from the little pier of her house in Rockland County and discovered that she was feeling dizzy. She had, at the urging of her editor at Knopf,...

The Making of “Fat City”

By Leonard Shecter Look October 19, 1971 The scene called for Billy Tully, played by Stacey Keach, to be thinning and weeding young tomatoes under a broiling sun. It’s sweaty, backbreaking working that must, because of the delicacy required, be done with a short,...

Dream Weaver

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Robert Weaver is one of my favorite illustrators. He worked in magazines from the mid-’50s through the ’80s and taught drawing at SVA for years. He had a beautifully direct, strong style—he could draw his ass off. There is a rough,...

The Lady in the Dark

By Phillip Lopate New York Woman November 1989 Pauline Kael has just turned seventy. An important birthday; her house in the Berkshires is filled with flowers from well-wishers. “I don’t want you to get the wrong idea that there are always this many flowers around,”...

Who’s the Bull Goose Looney Here?

By Grover Lewis Playboy 1975 The midmorning sky over the Oregon State Hospital in Salem looks liverish, quiverish, ready to collapse with torrential rain at any second. On the crewcut lawn behind the main building, an orderly shoos his excursion troupe of exercising...

Monumental Trivialist

By Seymour Krim Harper’s February 1981 It’s sad to say it, but Frank MacShane’s new biography of John O’Hara (The Life of John O’Hara) is a hell of a lot more interesting for us today, and makes a better novel, than practically all the fourteen novels O’Hara ever...

Franz

By Pete Hamill Art & Antiques May 1990 New York was full of swaggering energy in the spring of 1958, when I was living over a secondhand bookstore on Fourth Avenue and Twelfth Street, still trying to be a painter. It was a town where everyone was working, nobody...

The Stacks Chat: Edward Sorel

By Alex Belth Esquire November 2016 Edward Sorel is one of the finest—and funniest—caricaturists this country has ever produced. Although he works in a variety of styles, you’ll likely recognize his work right away—you’ve seen it in Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker,...

The Attentive Eye

By Peter Goldman Introduction to The Attentive Eve May 2002 New York City For our forty-two years together, I have been assuring Helen Dudar that she ought to do a book. For forty-two years, she has assured me that she should not. My argument, reduced to its essence,...

Uta Hagen, Acting!

By Helen Dudar The New York Times December 15, 1985 Uta Hagen Acting, Acting, in ‘Mrs. Warren’s Profeesion’… Since Uta Hagen is one of the glories of the American theater and since she turns up infrequently in large public performance spaces, she is subject to a...

Too Close for Comfort

By Ross Wetzsteon American Film May 1984 “Tell the guys in the crew to use my trailer while I’m gone.” It’s a star’s trailer, parked outside War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York, Glenn Close is shooting The Natural with Robert Redford and Robert Duvall. It’s a...