Friends, Writers, and Other Countrymen: A Memoir

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Macmillan, Jun 24, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
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"Sidney Offit has devised a marvelous mirror of his unique personality as well as a one of a kind tour of the New York literary world in the last half century. Anyone even faintly interested in books will find it impossible to put down."---Thomas Fleming, bestselling author of Liberty! The American Revolution

Sidney Offit's charming memoir of a writer's life ingeniously reflects some of the greatest (and most infamous) literary, political, and sports personalities of our century. His early days in Baltimore (where he met H. L. Mencken and entertained Robert Frost) are as engaging as his later encounters with Dylan Thomas, John Steinbeck, Pablo Neruda, Heinrich Böll, and some of the era's greatest ballplayers: Robinson, Mantle, Mays, and Williams.

Mixing with a remarkable and diverse crowd, led Sidney to run-ins and adventures with Truman Capote ("What kind of guy are you?"), Jackie Kennedy (in a corner), Kurt Vonnegut (who identified Sidney as his "best friend"), the incomparable Toni Morrison, and other bards, muses, and just plain folk. Their conversations are recalled with gentle humor and a keen eye for a New York where casual and spontaneous encounters may shape what the country reads or where a stroll around the corner can change a life.


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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Second volume of recollections from Offit (Memoir of the Bookie's Son, 1995, etc.), this one an annotated roll call of the celebrities, literary and otherwise, he's met in his nearly 80 years.The ... Read full review


II Other Encounters and a Good Cigar 1960s Through 1990s
III Work and Other Entertainments 1950s Through the Twentyfirst Century
IV Games and Play From the Beginning of Time Through the Twentyfirst Century
V Doers of Good Deeds PEN and Authors Guild 1960s Through the Twentyfirst Century
VI Bookends Twentyfirst Century

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About the author (2008)

Sidney Offit has written two novels, ten books for young readers, and Memoir of a Bookie's Son. He was senior editor of Intellectual Digest, book editor of Politics Today, and contributing editor of Baseball Magazine. For more than three decades he has served on the boards of the Authors Guild and PEN, American Center as curator of the George Polk Journalism Awards. Mr. Offit and his wife, Avodah, a psychiatrist and writer, live in New York City, within walking distance of their five grandchildren's families.

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