Readers of the New York Times Sunday ook Review over the past four years have come to look forward to Harvey Breit's intimate glimpses of writers. Now we have these pieces- or at least a judicious selection from them- in book form, and they read- or I should say reread- extraordinarily well. In his introduction, Mr. Breit discusses the role of the interviewer, his own conviction that protection of their privacy is owed the writers he interviews; that his aim is to capture the essence, the point of view, the personality -- not to make the headlines with newsworthy gossip. There is wide scope in his selection,- poets, dramatists, essayists, biographers, novelists- well known names for the most part (including such international celebrities as T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Dyinn Thomas, Robert Sherwood, Noel Coward, John Marquand, Alan Paton, Elizabeth Bowen, Jayce Cary, Robert Penn Warren- and some forty more). There's variety in approach, as he aims to size up the man's relation to his work, his attitude to contemporary life, his understanding of himself. There are some wonderfully quotable lines and MC's are going to find this an exceptionally useful reference tool for the apt phrase for introducing writers as speakers. This for the market of that public avid for glimpses behind the literary scene.