Gore Vidal--velist, playwright, critic, screenwriter, memoirist, indefatigable political commentator, and controversialist--is America's premier man of letters. No other living writer brings more sparkling wit, vast learning, indelible personality, and provocative mirth to the job of writing an essay.This long-needed volume comprises some twenty-four of his best-loved pieces of criticism, political commentary, memoir, portraiture, and, occasionally, unfettered score settling. It will stand as one of the most enjoyable and durable works from the hand and mind of this vastly accomplished and entertaining immortal of American literature.
Gore Vidal was born in 1925 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His first novel, Williwaw, written when he was nineteen years old and serving in the Army, appeared in the spring of 1946. Since then he has written twenty-three novels, five plays, many screenplays, short stories, well over two hundred essays, and a memoir.Jay Parini (born 1948) is an American writer and academic. Among his works of fiction and criticism are The Last Station, John Steinbeck, and Benjamin's Crossing. Parini is Gore Vidal's literary executor and a regular contributor to various journals and newspapers, including The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian (U.K.). In 1976, he cofounded New England Review, and he has taught at Middlebury College since 1982. He lives in Vermont.