Leonard was considered one of the best literary critics in America; he was an early champion of future Nobel Prize winners Toni Morrison and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Leonard died Wednesday from complications with lung cancer.
Sheed wrote the text for The Kennedy Legacy, which features photographs of the late president. He joins Fresh Air to discuss his work as a critic and author. Sheed grew up interested in sports; a bout of polio turned him into an avid reader. His parents ran one of the largest Catholic publishing houses.
Rebecca Sinkler is the editor of the Sunday Book Page at the Philadelphia Inquirer. She recently published an article about the best books of 1980. Sinkler joins the show to discuss the trends of the year (a merging of fact and fiction, biography, and historical fiction), putting together a newspaper page, and the experiences that led her to criticism.