Here are 161 wise, witty, and spirited short pieces and essays by the inimitable E. B. White. Written for the New Yorker over a span of forty-nine years, they show White’s changing concerns and development as a writer. In matchless style White writes about everything from cicadas to Khrushchev, from Thoreau to hyphens, from academic freedom to lipstick, from New York garbagemen to the sparrow, from Maine to the space age, from the Constitution to Harold Ross and even the common cold.
White has been described by one critic as “our finest essayist,” and these short pieces and essays are classics to be read, savored, and read again. Also included are an Introduction and Selective Bibliography by Rebecca M. Dale.
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."
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