A William Maxwell Portrait by Charles Baxter
Memories and Appreciations

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Synopsis

Three generations of writers celebrate a master whose life and work continue to reverberate in contemporary letters.

William Maxwell, who died in July 2000, was revered as one of the twentieth century's great American writers and a longtime fiction editor at The New Yorker. Now writers who knew Maxwell and were inspired by him—both the man and his work—offer intimate essays, most specifically written for this volume, that "bring him back to life, right there in front of us."

Alec Wilkinson writes of Maxwell as mentor; Edward Hirsch remembers him in old age; Charles Baxter illuminates the magnificent novel So Long, See You Tomorrow; Ben Cheever recalls Maxwell and his own father; Donna Tartt vividly describes Maxwell's kindness to herself as a first novelist; and Michael Collier admires him as a supreme literary correspondent. Other appreciations include insightful pieces by Alice Munro, Anthony Hecht, a poem by John Updike, and a brief tribute from Paula Fox. Ending this splendid collection is Maxwell himself, in the unpublished speech "The Writer as Illusionist."
 

About Charles Baxter

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Charles Baxter is author of several novels, including "The Feast of Love", "Shadow Play", & "First Light", & collections of stories including "Believers" & "A Relative Stranger". He teaches writing at the University of Michigan. Michael Collier 's The Ledge was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He teaches at the University of Maryland and is the director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Edward Hirsch has published seven books of poems, including Special Orders . He lives in New York City.
 
Published August 17, 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A William Maxwell Portrait

Publishers Weekly

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"When writing about William Maxwell it is easy to make him sound saintly," declares poet Collier. As an award-winning novelist and short story writer and a 40-year N

Jun 14 2004 | Read Full Review of A William Maxwell Portrait: M...

The New York Times

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Maxwell's new readers could scarcely know that he had been rehearsing elements of the same painful story since 1937, when he brought out his second novel, ''They Came Like Swallows.'' Introducing his collected stories, ''All the Days and Nights,'' in 1994, Maxwell recalled boarding a freighter fo...

Jul 17 2005 | Read Full Review of A William Maxwell Portrait: M...

Publishers Weekly

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As an award-winning novelist and short story writer and a 40-year New Yorker editor (working with such luminaries as Eudora Welty, John Hersey and John Cheever), Maxwell, who died four years ago at age 92, had much-valued friendships with younger writers, including contributors Donna Tartt, Ben ...

| Read Full Review of A William Maxwell Portrait: M...

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