First, novelist E.L. Doctorow reads from his novel, "Billy Bathgate." (First broadcast March 14, 1989) Then, film critic Stephen Schiff reviews "Billy Bathgate," the film adaptation of E. L. Doctorow's best-selling novel. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Bruce Willis.
Writer E.L Doctorow His writing has been praised for bringing to life the traumatic events of American 20th Century history, like the Depression, World War II and Vietnam for the generations too young or too old to feel them. It was Doctorow's 1971 book, "The Book of Daniel," that established his reputation as a major American writer. The book was inspired by the Atom Spy Trials at the height of the McCarthy era. At the time, Doctorow was still working full-time as an editor, working with authors like James Baldwin and Norman Mailer.
The author's books follow the lives of fictional characters in real historical situations. Several of them have been made into films. Doctorow's newest novel, Billy Bathgate, takes place in the criminal underworld of early-twentieth-century New York City.
E.L. Doctorow's newest novel, like his past work, incorporates real history into fictional narratives. This time, he focuses on the criminal underworld of New York in the early twentieth century. Book critic John Leonard says the book is superb.