The Road to West 43rd Street

By Nash K. Burger

with Pearl Amelia McHaney

192 pp., 20 b&w illustrations

0878057935 (9780878057931)
Cloth $30.00S

9781604732603 Paperback $25.00D

Cloth, $30.00

Paperback, $25.00

A lively memoir detailing the days before, during, and after an editorial life at the New York Times Book Review

For nearly thirty years and through the tenure of five editors-in-chief, Nash K. Burger was on the editorial staff of the New York Times Book Review. In this engaging reminiscence he explores the route that took him to that bastion of the book world, headquartered in New York City on West 43rd Street. Burger is a natural raconteur whose ease with the word enhances this appealing narrative. His point of view, though particularly southern, has been honed for a national audience who will be entertained and enlightened by his personal perspective.

Burger grew up in a circle of talented adolescents in Jackson, Mississippi that includes one of his oldest friends, the author Eudora Welty, who preceded him at the Book Review during one summer when she served as copy editor. By 1945 Burger joined a few other distinguished Mississippians, such as Turner Catledge, at the New York Times, and in the stream of years that followed he reviewed more than 1,300 books.

From his earliest days Burger was a reader and a writer. Instinctively drawn to books, he moved on to editing. From his position at the Book Review he wrote frequently but not exclusively on his favorite subjects: the Civil War, religion, and the literature of the American South. The trail he has left from West 43rd Street is that of the intelligent, mindful southern gentleman. Twenty years after his departure, as his friend Miss Welty proclaimed for his retirement party, his is "a mind both clear and wise, responsive and reflective, that has yet to be amazed for the first time at the human comedy around him. He won't stop living with books; whatever he does, he'll write or edit or publish."

Nash K. Burger (deceased) was an author, editor, and book reviewer. Pearl A. McHaney is a professor of English at Georgia State University and editor of several books on Eudora Welty. Eudora Welty (deceased) is the author of many critically acclaimed novels and short stories.

192 pp., 20 b&w illustrations