Here But Not Here: A Love Story, by Lillian Ross (Faber & Faber, £12.99 in UK)


This one recounts the odd love affair of William Shawn, legendary editor of the New Yorker, and his employee and contributor Lillian Ross. Although Shawn was married, and remained so, he and Ross made a life together, created a home - a dozen blocks south of the Shawns' apartment - and raised a son. At one stage Ross tried to escape from the passionate liaison by going to Hollywood and working there as a writer, but she eventually returned to New York, and the affair resumed. The book is interesting when it tells of the many writers Shawn published, but the personal story soon becomes mawkish and overly sentimental. Also Ms Ross's Mills & Boon prose does little to give depth to what was undoubtedly a deeply felt and enduring relationship.