Helen—An Introduction

By Nora Ephron from The Attentive Eve May 2002 The first time I heard about Helen Dudar, I was working at Newsweek magazine as a fact-checker in the National Affairs department. A new writer named Peter Goldman had just arrived at the magazine from St. Louis, and he...

To The Beat

By Will Blythe The New York Times July 8, 2010 If you’re like me, you tend to regard plot summaries as a necessary boredom at best. They’re the flyover country between a reviewer’s landing strips of judgment, revealing almost nothing about the way a book actually...

R.I.P. The Best American Sports Writing

By Kevin Koczwara The Stacks Reader February 2, 2020 The calm and quiet of upstate Vermont—past Burlington and Winooski, almost to the border of sleepy Canada, but before Montreal—is where Glenn Stout calls home. The world stops there. Or so it seems. The pace of life...

Shelley Winters: “Wait A Minute—Where Am I?”

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc June 1980 Shelley Winters has written the story of her life. Anyone who has followed her flourishing career on the talk show circuit will be pardoned for asking what she possibly has left to tell. The TV addict who really keeps track of...

Norman

By Brock Brower Life September 24, 1965 At this point in his literary career, Norman Mailer really ought—at least as a source of metaphor—to Quit the Ring. He has, as they say, heart, a lot of heart, but even if he’s right—that Papa Hemingway threw him and his entire...

J. D. Salinger in Retreat…

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc June 1979 In this age of hard sell, when even the most reticent author can be coaxed into a half-hour on camera with Dick Cavett, J. D. Salinger obdurately remains publishing’s invisible man. This is, of course, hard on his admirers, who...

Glenn Stout Lives Way Up There

By Kevin Koczwara The Classical August 2012 When Glenn Stout says he lives far up there in Vermont he means it. The roads seem to go on forever and the mountains never end. Eventually, I make it to Lake Champlain and realize I’m getting close. I continue driving north...

Adagio, ma non tropp

By Lewis H. Lapham Harper’s August 1995 “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening...

People Aren’t Tidy

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader November 11, 2019 “When I was twenty-two, I read Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, and it completely changed my understanding of what nonfiction can do.”—Rachel Aviv. Seven years ago, Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz, seniors at...

Ex Drops In

By Paul Hemphill From Too Old to Cry San Francisco It is probable that Frederick Exley was the best-known unknown novelist working in America during the seventies. Ever since the publication in the late sixties of A Fan’s Notes he has symbolized the enigmatic position...

The Bustling Days and Rum-and-Coke Nights of Barney Rosset

By John Marchese 7 Days September 6, 1989 Barney Rosset is being kissed. He leans forward toward her lips, which are delicately painted. His old hands clasp her young hands—right in left, left in right. She is small and slender. So is he. Later, after she smiles...

The Man Behind the Curtain

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader His reputation as the guru of magazine writing preceded him so it came as a surprise that Jay Lovinger not only lived a couple of blocks from me in Riverdale but that he was indistinguishable from the other guys lolling around Johnson...