cover image A New York Life: Of Friends and Others

A New York Life: Of Friends and Others

Brendan Gill, Author Poseidon Press $21.45 (348p) ISBN 978-0-671-69523-1

Ranging in length from three pages (a piece on Padraic Colum) to 22 (Georges Simenon), these 41 genial articles elegantly recall 45 friends and acquaintances of New Yorker staff writer Gill. An Irish Catholic, he writes with wit and charm of Brendan Behan, Philip Barry, Eugene O'Neill, F. Scott Fitzgerald and John O'Hara, and equally appreciatively of Al Hirschfeld, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., Louise Nevelson, Dorothy Parker, Man Ray and Ben Sonnenberg. Gill's diverse circle encompasses as well architects William Adams Delano and Wallace K. Harrison, photographers Walker Evans and Andre Kertesz, comedians Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, writers Joseph Alsop, Maxwell Anderson, John Betjeman and Alec Waugh, impresario Ellen Stewart, grand dame Eleanor Roosevelt. Also included is Gill's notorious New Yorker piece about Joseph Campbell's anti-Semitism and championing of right-wing anti-humanitarianism. Drawings not seen by PW. (Oct.)