"Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker was one of the greatest nonfiction writers in American letters. His long-form profiles of the everyday people and places at the margins of the city he loved--high-rise construction workers, Staten Island oystermen, Bowery bums--pioneered a new kind of reportage. In the Thirties, Forties, Fifties, and early Sixties he wrote about some of the most quirky and memorable characters ever captured on the page, culminating in 1964 with his extraordinary story "Joe Gould's Secret." And then . . . nothing. For the next thirty years Mitchell came to the office and seemed to be busy with writing projects, but he never published another word. In time he would become less known for his classic stories and elegant writing than for the longest writer's block this side of J.D. Salinger. Fifty years after his last story appeared, and almost two decades after his death, Mitchell still has legions of fans, and his story--especially the mystery of his thirty-year writer's block--continues to fascinate"-- Provided by publisher.