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Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/28/2005 | With Helprin, there’s always a backstory

Friday July 29th 2005, 3:40 am

Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/28/2005 | With Helprin, there’s always a backstory

Mark Helprin talks about book criticism politics at the New York Times Book Review.

That recollection in turn triggers a disturbing anecdote about Kakutani’s predecessor, Anatole Broyard, who had effusively endorsed Helprin’s breakout collection, Ellis Island and Other Stories in 1981.

After the review was published, Broyard repeatedly called the writer, importuning him for a get-together. Helprin declined. Not a social animal to begin with, he also felt it was unseemly to have a relationship with someone in Broyard’s position.

When Helprin’s next book, Winter’s Tale, was published in 1983, Broyard “made sure to write a really bad review of it and to take back the previous review he had written for Ellis Island,” says Helprin.

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