White, E. B.

White, E. B. (Elwyn Brooks White), 1899–1985, American writer, b. Mt. Vernon, N.Y., grad. Cornell, 1921. A witty, satiric observer of contemporary society, White was a member of the staff of the early New Yorker; some of his “Talk of the Town” columns were collected in The Wild Flag (1946). In addition to this work and much light, graceful, and humorous verse, he wrote Is Sex Necessary? (with James Thurber, 1929), Quo Vadimus? (1939), One Man's Meat (1942), Here Is New York (1949), and The Points of My Compass (1962). He also penned three delightful stories for children, Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte's Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). A superb literary stylist himself, White undertook a noted revision of The Elements of Style (1959) by William Strunk, Jr., and with his wife, Katherine, he edited A Subtreasury of American Humor (1941).

See his selected essays (1977); letters, ed. by D. L. Guth (1976, 1989; rev. ed. also ed. by M. White, 2007); biography by S. Elledge (1984); study by E. C. Sampson (1974).

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