The biography of the beloved author of Charlotte's Web relates anecdotes and details of the writer's idyllic childhood and successful career and explains the reasons for his intense shyness.
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An adequate survey of the life of ``the shy young man, the lonely college student, the fearful public speaker, the insecure writer'' whose oeuvre included The New Yorker's ``Talk of the Town'' and the delectably funny tag lines after its newsbreaks, several volumes of wise and witty essays, expertly cadenced verse, and The Elements of Style (bible of all true writers), as well as his beloved children's classics. Gherman does a good job of recounting the basic facts. Her style is clear, though occasionally clumsy (``Both men appreciated the natural world in similar ways''). She includes several quotes in each chapter (all properly cited in concluding notes). But White is so splendidly quotable that more would be welcome; his uniquely wry humor and amiable precision seem to elude the author. It's clear that the lifelong hypochondriac who shuttled from job to job and from N.Y.C. to Maine, continually restructuring, was never quite at peace with himself or the world; Gherman offers just a few clues to the inner man--e.g., his second bout with a psychiatrist (the first isn't mentioned) resulted in foolish advice: he should stop writing. Still, fairly informative and useful in the absence of other biographies at this level. Notes; bibliography. B&w photos and index not seen. (Biography. 9-13) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6 Up-- As evidenced by notes and a bibliography, Gherman's work is based on interviews with White's family, his journals, papers given to Cornell University, and the work of other biographers. Some of the interviews were conducted as recently as 1991. Gherman shows the author's eccentricities as well as his accomplishments. Always fretful about his health and extremely fearful of public speaking, White courageously wrote in opposition to The New York Herald Tribune' s support of Hollywood firings of the McCarthy period. Happiest on his farm observing all of nature's creatures, he spent his last days listening to his works and evaluating each piece by his own tough standards. Perhaps in tribute to White, Gherman's own prose has caught something of his style. She is gently simple, refreshingly clear, but always ready to deal realistically with the hard edge of truth. This book will be a pleasure for those who loved Charlotte's Web and an excellent resource for reports. It's for an older audience than David Collins's To the Point (Carolrhoda, 1989).
- Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Atheneum, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110689316720
Book Description Atheneum. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0689316720 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1200293