Backward Ran Sentences: The Best of Wolcott Gibbs from the New Yorker

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Oct 18, 2011 - Literary Collections - 688 pages
6 Reviews
"Maybe he doesn't like anything, but he can do everything," New Yorker editor Harold Ross once said of the magazine's brilliantly sardonic theater critic, Wolcott Gibbs. And, for over thirty years at the magazine, Gibbs did do just about everything. He turned out fiction and nonfiction, profiles and parodies, filled columns in "Talk of the Town" and "Notes and Comment," covered books, movies, nightlife and, of course, the theater. A friend of the Algonquin Round Table, Gibbs was renowned for his wit. (Perhaps his most enduring line is from a profile of Henry Luce, parodying Time magazine's house style: "Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.")
While, in his day, Gibbs was equal in stature to E.B. White and James Thurber, today, he is little read. In Backward Ran Sentences, journalist Tom Vinciguerra introduces Gibbs and gathers a generous sampling of his finest work across an impressive range of genres, bringing a brilliant, multitalented writer of incomparable wit to a new age of readers.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - majorbabs - LibraryThing

"Backward Ran Sentences" shows off the erudite and witty Gibbs in a fine showcase. I'm too young to have read his columns, so was delighted to find this on sale and keep it for myself. Fans of good writing will enjoy it. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TadAD - LibraryThing

Perhaps one way to describe Wolcott Gibbs, other than as an author of short stories, is as a blogger. The Internet didn't exist—and I have this sneaking suspicion he would have been horrified by its ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Wolcott Gibbs, born in 1902, began working at the New Yorker in 1927. A supremely gifted writer and editor, he had, by his mid-thirties, published more than a million words in the magazine, covering every section, although he was best known, in his later years, as a sharp theater critic. Gibbs died at the age of 56 on Fire Island.
Tom Vinciguerra is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, and former deputy editor of The Week.

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