Columnists: Appointment on Long Island

I want to get it all down on paper while I can. The United States in this century is what I know, and it is my business to write about it to the best of my ability, with the sometimes special knowledge I have. I want to record the way people talked and thought and felt, and to do it with complete honesty and variety.

John O'Hara, who wrote those lines in a prologue to Sermons and Soda-Water, a trio of novellas published in 1960, likes to think of himself as a social...

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