Books: Literary Midwife

EDITOR TO AUTHOR: THE LETTERS OF MAXWELL E. PERKINS (31 5 pp.) —Edited by John Hall Wheelock—Scribner ($3.75).

The public seldom hears of publishing-house editors any more, and there is little reason why it should. With a big part of the book trade bustling to confect bestsellers, the editor has tended to turn into a chef.

There are still a few book editors old-fashioned enough to care chiefly for good books, but in an industry increasingly geared to "the big pitch" they are a thin remnant. One of the best of them, Maxwell Perkins, died three years ago after a legendary 37-year career...

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