Reporting at Wit's End: Tales from the New Yorker
The best of St. Clair McKelway, a longtime New Yorker writer, whose astonishing career and work have been overlooked for too long. Named for his ... Show synopsis The best of St. Clair McKelway, a longtime New Yorker writer, whose astonishing career and work have been overlooked for too long. Named for his great-uncle, a prominent newspaperman, St. Clair McKelway was born with journalism in his blood. And in thirty-six years at the New Yorker, he made fact-writing his career. His prolific output for the magazine was defined by its incomparable wit and a love of New York's rough edges. He had a deep affection for the city's rascals: the junkmen, con men, counterfeiters, priests, beat cops, and fire marshals who colored life in old New York. And he wrote with levity and insight about his own life as well, a life marked by a strict Presbyterian childhood, a limited formal education, five marriages and divorces, and sometimes debilitating mental illness. Like Joseph Mitchell and A. J. Liebling, McKelway combined the unflagging curiosity of a great reporter with the narrative flair of a master storyteller, and he helped establish the New Yorker's unique brand of journalism in its most storied years. William Shawn, who began as McKelway's assistant and became the magazine's revered editor, described McKelway as a writer with the lightest of light touches, his striking style too odd to be imitated. Reporting at Wit's End collects McKelway's most memorable work from the 1930s through the 1960s, creating a portrait of a long-forgotten New York and of one of its consummate chroniclers.