An adequate survey of the life of ""the shy young man, the lonely college student, the fearful public speaker, the insecure writer"" whose oeuvre included The New Yorker's ""Talk of the Town"" and the delectably funny tag lines after its newsbreaks, several volumes of wise and witty essays, expertly cadenced verse, and The Elements of Style (bible of all true writers), as well as his beloved children's classics. Gherman does a good job of recounting the basic facts. Her style is clear, though occasionally clumsy (""Both men appreciated the natural world in similar ways""). She includes several quotes in each chapter (all properly cited in concluding notes). But White is so splendidly quotable that more would be welcome; his uniquely wry humor and amiable precision seem to elude the author. It's clear that the lifelong hypochondriac who shuttled from job to job and from N.Y.C. to Maine, continually restructuring, was never quite at peace with himself or the world; Gherman offers just a few clues to the inner man--e.g., his second bout with a psychiatrist (the first isn't mentioned) resulted in foolish advice: he should stop writing. Still, fairly informative and useful in the absence of other biographies at this level. Notes; bibliography. B&w photos and index not seen.