The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

October 7, 2013

October 7, 1922

William Zinsser, born on October 7, 1922, is famous for writing about writing. He taught nonfiction writing at Yale for years, and his famous reference, On Writing Well (1978) includes this assessment:

"We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.”

Zinsser also worked as an editor at the Book-Of-The-Month-Club in the 1980s. Which is a bit odd. He and his wife Caroline, also a writer, have traveled widely. Their marriage of over 65 years has produced not just books, but four grandchildren. Their home is Manhattan.

I was a bit alarmed to find out this prolific man turned up one hit, on a casual search, about a cat going over Niagara Falls. Then I remembered his friendship with Cleveland Amory, with whom he went to school. Cleveland Amory, wrote about Zinsser in his last book on his cat Polar Bear: The Best Cat Ever. They were both from well-connected wealthy families. They wrote about each other. There's cat fur somewhere.

His website has links to lots of interesting articles. He could not consider cats "pompous frills." We'll find that fluff in time for another blog post. 

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