A compelling reflection on wisdom, friendship, and the craft of writing, My Mentor is also the touching story of a young man's education at the hands of a master, William Maxwell. At age twenty-four, Alec Wilkinson approached Maxwell in hopes of being taught to write. A quarter century of friendship followed. As a fiction editor of The New Yorker, Maxwell was unquestionably one of the past century's most respected editors; as the author of the masterpieces They Came Like Swallows and So Long, See You Tomorrow, he was one of its greatest American writers. His unparalleled ear for language and eye for detail, his depth of understanding and experience, make his instructions on writing an essential guide to the craft. In honoring this great man of letters, Wilkinson creates a "deft and sympathetic portrait" (New York Times Book Review).