Sybil

The Richard Burton DiariesEdited by Chris Williams (Yale University Press, 693 pp., $35)   JUNE 14, 1969, and for a dawn moment he was calm, remembering Wordsworth and Dylan Thomas: “I love my wife. I love her dearly. Honest. Talk about the beauty, silent, bare.... Sitting on the Thames with the river imitating a blue-grey ghost. My God the very houses seem asleep.

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I was a child of the J.D. Salinger generation. Not of his generation, but of his stories and one novel, The Catcher in the Rye. I read Catcher in Rye in prep school when I was fourteen, using a flash light after lights-out. I didn’t get expelled like Holden Caulfield did, but my roommate and I would sometimes sneak off to New York with phony permission slips signed by our parents and fake IDs to roam around bars and dream of escaping to the West (which I eventually did).

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