"In general I would say that men actually have more feeling, and women perhaps more intelligence."
"I do seem to have some confessional impulse, and it may have to do with my catholic training."
For over half a century Mary McCarthy was at the center of intellectual life in America. Both through her writing-she published twenty-four books and countless reviews and essays-and through her personal involvement-from protesting Stalinism in the thirties and forties to opposing the war in Vietnam in the sixties and seventies-she helped to shape American thought and culture. She became a respected critic and was a founding editor of Partisan Review.
Fresh out of college, she set the literary world astir with a series of articles attacking the mediocrity of America's book reviewers. She very naturally gravitated to the center of controversy and remained caustic and forthright to the end of her life.
The interviews collected in this book reveal a fascinating life and the brilliant mind of a born conversationalist. With a riveting, liberal intellect that could attach itself to any worthy topic, Mary McCarthy was a great and entertaining talker, able to dissect politics, literature, or nincompoops. These interviews reveal Mary McCarthy's grand-scale mind and give facts about her biography. She was interested always in finding the truth. "I believe there is a truth," she said, "and that it's knowable."
Carol Gelderman, author of Mary McCarthy: A Life , is a research professor of English at the University of New Orleans.
228 pages (approx.), 6x9 in., chronology, index