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."
In the original edition of E.B. White's letters (edited by his goddaughter, Dorothy Lobrano Guth, and published in 1976), White noted in his introduction that "ideally, a collection of letters should be published posthumously"; as his new editor (his granddaughter, Martha White) notes, White "got his wish." This enjoyable collection by one of the English language's greatest writers has been reedited to reflect White's and his wife Katharine's deaths. Additionally, some of the previously selected letters have been removed. This was presumably done to make room for the two new chapters, "Goodbye to Katharine, 1977-1981" and "E.B. White, a Biography, 1982-1985," which cover the years between the original book's publication and White's death. These are interesting additions; however, it seems a shame that any of the original letters were cut. The new introduction by John Updike is also worth reading. Recommended for academic and public libraries, even those already owning the original edition. Felicity D. Walsh, Emory Univ., Decatur, GA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.