George Packer at Lapham’s Quarterly writes of meeting a young Burmese reader of Charles Dickens: “‘All of those characters are me,’ [he] explained. ‘Neither a British nor American young man living in the twenty-first century can understand a Dickens as well as I can…I am more equipped to understand Dickens than modern novels. I don’t know what is air conditioning, what is subway, what is fingerprint exam.’” (via Book Bench)
Considering an anthology about writers leaving New York came out last year (with a contribution by our own Emily St. John Mandel), it makes sense that we should now look back on the career of E.B. White, who gave up his Manhattan apartment for a farm in rural Maine.