Wilfrid Sheed (1915–2011) was a British-American novelist and critic.


Portrait of the Artist as a Self-Made Man

Evelyn Waugh: The Later Years 1939–1966

by Martin Stannard
Last year’s quiet winner in the crowded category of shock biography might just possibly be Martin Stannard’s Evelyn Waugh: The Later Years. Scurvy allegations against the Kennedy family may still be fun, the way Benny Hill reruns are fun, but they are not news; good deeds by Evelyn Waugh, on …

Armageddon Now?

Harlot's Ghost

by Norman Mailer
If Norman Mailer’s own character Harlot were reviewing this book—and what better occupation for a retired superspy with the most devious mind in the West?—he would probably deduce by way of background that the author has spent a suspicious amount of time preparing us to expect the worst of this …

Outside Baseball

Summer of '49

by David Halberstam

The Progress of the Seasons: Forty Years of Baseball in Our Town

by George V. Higgins
It could be a coincidence, but as each of our major wars winds down we seem to become more and more mesmerized by baseball, and the cold war so far has proved no exception. To a nervous system set on high, peace can be an awful anticlimax; suddenly a section …

The Exile

In Search of J.D. Salinger

by Ian Hamilton
Sad things can happen when an author chooses the wrong subject: first the author suffers, then the reader, and finally the publisher, all together in a tiny whirlpool of pain. Ian Hamilton’s book, In Search of J.D. Salinger, seems to have set in dolorous motion all of the above. The …

A Farewell to Hemingstein

The Garden of Eden

by Ernest Hemingway

Dateline: Toronto/The Complete Toronto Star Dispatches, 1920–1924

by Ernest Hemingway, edited by William White
Hemingway by now is like some old man who’s been sitting at the end of the bar for years. A fellow comes in and says, “Hey, that guy seems awfully tough; do you think he’s just showing off?” Yes, both. “I mean people who brag that much often turn out …


The Red Smith Reader

edited by Dave Anderson

To Absent Friends from Red Smith

by Red Smith
“Hollywood,” wrote Johnny Mercer, is the place “where you’re terrific if you’re even good.” But you don’t have to go to Hollywood to attain this pleasant, vaguely humiliating condition; sportswriting will do. Selected sportswriters get canonized by the faithful in every major city, and a precious few become national cults, …

No Need for Names

The Last Laugh

by S.J. Perelman
Cyril Connolly once observed that even P.G. Wodehouse might have profited from being told which of his books was better than which. But nobody wants to review a humorist. Such notices as the funnymen get are generally either facetious, because the reviewer dreads seeming pompous, or vaguely eulogistic. “Another whatnot …

Brass Bands and Raspberries

In Search of History: A Personal Adventure

by Theodore H. White

Make-Believe Presidents: Illusions of Power from McKinley to Carter

by Nicholas von Hoffman
They used, I am told, to have a phrase over at Life magazine known as “winning the lunch.” Life was a very lunchy outfit, to judge from the number of Henry Luce anecdotes that seem to feature that meal, and Life reporter Theodore White’s In Search of History can be …