E.B. WHITE: The Elements of a Writer by Janice Tingum

E.B. WHITE: The Elements of a Writer

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A modest biography of a modest writer, with black-and-white photographs on every other page. Readers follow White from Mount Vernon to Cornell, on a trip across the country, back to New York and to The New Yorker, and eventually up to Maine. Although the references to historical events are so curt as to seem pointless, Tingum does a good job navigating White's life, faltering slightly over his childhood and bringing reasonable order to the events of his later years. Particular attention is given to his children's books--a recounting of plots and detailed accounts of how they came to be written. A straightforward exposition of facts is delivered in short, polished sentences; Tingum occasionally commits a crime of which White could never be accused and talks down to readers, very nearly turning her subject into something cute and curious. The book survives this flaw, however, perhaps because Tingum keeps analysis to a minimum; White's life unfolds not according to any premise that she must prove, but simply as he lived it.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
Page count: 124pp
Publisher: Lerner