A Letter From The Publisher, Mar. 1, 1976

When he came to the Books section of TIME in 1974, Staff Writer Paul Gray carried with him a number of credentials as a reviewer. Among other things, he held a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Virginia (subject of his thesis: James Joyce), and had taught as an assistant professor at Princeton for seven years. Even so, he found preparing for this week's cover story on Novelist Gore Vidal to be a rigorous exercise, since his preparations required reading or rereading a 23-volume shelf including 15 novels, various essay collections and other works by his subject. Says Gray:...

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