On Revision

By Nora Ephron From Nora Ephron Collected November, 1986 I have been asked to write something for a textbook that is meant to teach college students something about writing and revision. I am happy to do this because I believe in revision. I have also been asked to...

Swifty Lazar Is a Big Deal

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine July 18, 1983 The beautiful lady and the reporter sit facing each other on wicker sofas in the lady’s small but elegant Los Angeles office. They are silent, sheepish, like schoolgirls who have been collared in the hall by a teacher...

Remembering Gil Schwartz (and Stanley Bing)

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader May 4, 2020 Let’s take a moment to celebrate the one and only Gil Schwartz who passed away a couple of days ago. Some of his grief-stricken pals were kind enough to offer some of their memories and we are the richer for it. Take it...

Shakespeare in Rewrite

By Ron Rosenbaum The New Yorker May 13, 2002 In 1997, when Harold Jenkins, the editor of the Arden “Hamlet,” a leading scholarly edition of Shakespeare’s play, went to see Kenneth Branagh’s film version of “Hamlet,” he was both excited and...

Don’t Sweat the Technique

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 23, 2020 John Huston was thirty-five when he made his directorial debut with The Maltese Falcon. He was 81 when he directed his last movie, The Dead. Which begs the question—has any director had a better start and finish? When...

The Essential Ron Rosenbaum: Part One

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 20, 2020 Ron Rosenbaum is in the pantheon of great non-fiction writers alongside Wolfe, Didion, Trillin, Talese, and Thompson. He’s been a newspaper columnist, a virtuoso magazine feature and profile writer, and author of...

The Man Who Wrote the “Citizen Kane” of Celebrity Profiles

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 13, 2020 O’Connell Driscoll is a great name for a writer, the kind of byline that sticks. Trouble is bylines are easily forgotten and the history of magazine writing is littered with terrific writers who are neglected and Driscoll...

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...