William Maxwell, the 'Wisest, Kindest' Writer
The Library of America has just published the first of a two-volume collection of the novels and stories of the late writer William Maxwell, whose writing voice John Updike once described as "one of the wisest and kindest in American fiction."
Maxwell's novels include They Came Like Sparrows, The Folded Leaf, and So Long, See You Tomorrow. But he may be equally famous for his day job at The New Yorker, where he served as fiction editor from 1936 to 1976, and worked with literary greats such as J.D. Salinger, John Cheever and Eudora Welty, among others.
Maxwell spoke with Terry Gross in 1995; he died in August 2000, at the age of 91.
This interview first aired on March 29, 1995.
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