Happy Birthday, Uncle E.

EB White and his dog Minnie IMG Source: Wikipedia

EB White and his dog Minnie
IMG Source: Wikipedia

Stuart Little, Wilbur the pig, and Charlotte the spider were born 115 years ago today. Well, their creator was.

It’s E.B. White’s birthday, and while I’ve long associated him with children’s books, I never looked into his backstory. But it turns out that his motivation for writing them was his 18 nieces and nephews, which means I’ve got more in common with Uncle E. than a love for talking animals (though, not to storytop him, I’ve got him beat by 3, with another on the way).

And like other writers who happened to write books for children, White is known for those books, even though he wrote a pile of essays and other books, including the indispensable Elements of Style. So today, I wish a happy birthday to a man with imagination who understood that – whether your audience is the niece at your knee or the New Yorker subscriber – the care with which you tell your narrative matters.

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