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The Outermost Dream: Literary Sketches

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  3 reviews
The Outermost Dream brings together essays and reviews by William Maxwell, one of America's foremost writers and editors. Maxwell chose deliberately to focus on biography, memoir, diaries, and correspondence when reviewing books: "what people said and did and wore and ate and hoped for and were afraid of, and in detail after often unimaginable detail they refresh our idea ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Graywolf Press (first published 1989)
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Mark
Maxwell's writing has an easy, seductive grace, and he chooses surprising ways to begin and end these literary reviews and sketches of writers' lives, so that each individual essay seems merely to meander pleasantly. However, as you weave into and out of these sketches, Maxwell's way of structuring his writing begins to infect your own mind, and you start to see new beginnings and endings all around you, new avenues into stories and unexpected ways to bring your own meandering thoughts into enjo ...more
Iva
We know Maxwell as a brilliant editor and novelist. In this collection he explores the lives of known and unknown people in different periods of history. He is keenly aware when biographers are misinformed. particularly if he had known the person. Frank O'Connor, for example, is one where he had a completely different take on the man than his biographer. Some of the essays are about people he knew at the New Yorker: Louise Bogan, E. B. and Katherine White, Sylvia Townsend Warner and many others. ...more
Tracy
A collection of book reviews sounds boring, but these are just great. Old fashioned in the sense that there is wit, not snark.
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William Keepers Maxwell Jr. was an American novelist, and fiction editor at the New Yorker. He studied at the University of Illinois and Harvard University. Maxwell wrote six highly acclaimed novels, a number of short stories and essays, children's stories, and a memoir, Ancestors (1972). His award-winning fiction, which is increasingly seen as some of the most important of the 20th Century, has r ...more
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