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."
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this splendid collection is Maxwell himself, in the unpublished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."