Elizabeth Hardwick is a frequent contributor to Partisan Review and has here collected a number of short articles and reviews which first appeared there, as well as a few from Harper's and other magazines. The result is a most enjoyable bedside book for literati, full of graceful writing and varied biographical and critical comments. Here are essays on William James, Mary McCarthy, George Eliot and her husband, America and Dylan Thomas, David Riesman, and Eugene O'Neill; how writers reveal or do not reveal themselves in letters; how the French can keep diaries and join in volumes of homage, while the English-speaking literary community cannot. She wonders why the novels of Christina Stead have become neglected; and why Graham Greene finds traditional types of plenty so unsympathetic. She has only contempt for the housewife-reviewer's reaction into Simone de but she would emphasize the brute strength of man over woman as more important than the force of custom in the historical inferiority of women, contrary to the view of . Also included in this volume is a portrait of Boston (Miss Hardwick is the wife of Robert Lowell), a review of The Children of Sanchez, and reflections on the Tennessee William's Weltansihaung.