As a book editor for five decades and himself a prolific author, Roger Grenier has known some of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, from his mentor Albert Camus to Romain Gary and Jean-Paul Sartre. Here, in Palace of Books, he offers a witty and profound set of essays around the question of literature in the broadest sense of the term. Teeming with anecdote and elegant flashes of insight, the essays reflect on the ways we hold our favorite writers dear, almost like members of the family. Like a modern Montaigne, Grenier wears his vast culture lightly and with a sense of humor, and discusses the craft of writing with disarming modesty. He addresses writers’ anxieties, such as the perennial ?Do I Have Anything Left To Say?” while also taking on related themes, like the experience of waiting, be it in the army, before eternity, or in the dentist’s office. Grenier brings the reader closer to all the writers he evokes, and they are many:, Rousseau, Stendhal, Flaubert, Camus, Proust, Beckett, Barthes, Conrad, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, O’Flannery, Tolstoy, and Musil. It is like a wonderful literary party hosted by Roger Grenier and to which we have all been invited.