E.B. White Narrates an Animation of His Story “The Family That Dwelt Apart”




E.B. White, beloved author of Charlotte’s WebStuart Little, and the classic English writing guide The Elements of Style (with William Strunk), would have been 102 today. He passed away in 1985, after a nearly sixty-year career writing for The New Yorker, and winning several literary awards, including a Pulitzer prize, a Presidential Medal of Honor, and the prestigious children’s literature prize, The Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal.

In 1983, the Canadian director Yvon Malette made an animated short film of White’s New Yorker story, “The Family That Dwelt Apart.” The narrator of the film (which was nominated for an Academy Award), is Elwin Brooks White himself, his voice still strong at age 84. Enjoy, but be forewarned: It’s a bit of a tearjerker.

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Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.


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