Mel Gussow, the longtime drama critic for The New York Times, has put together a revelatory book of conversations with the famously reticent author and his chief collaborators. In this revealing and poignant collection, Gussow paints a portrait of Samuel Beckett, the velist and playwright whose body of work is unmatched for its intensity and cohesiveness. Although Beckett never allowed an interview, he did talk informally with Gussow over a ten-year period. Conversations with and about Beckett includes those encounters, with talk of actors, directors, the general state of the theater, art, life -- and tennis. The conversations, previously unpublished, show the reputedly austere author as modest, humorous, and open-minded but always precise and revealing about his own work, which he discusses with great acuity.