Dryad logo with the title of 'Driad Press—Poetry and Prose'



$24.95 (Pub. Date: September 26, 2023)

A co-publication of Mandel Vilar Press and Dryad Press
ISBN:9781942134862 / Paperback with French Flaps / photographs / index /  224 pages / $24.95
E-ISBN:9781942134879 / eBook / $11.99

Pre-order now: postage-free in the U.S.

“A delicious portrait of two difficult brilliant intellectuals, and a
vindication of criticism as a noble calling”Garth Greenwell

Robert Boyers’ memoir of his 50-year friendship with Susan Sontag and George Steiner gives us an insider’s lens on two of the most acclaimed intellectuals of their time. Boyers, the founding editor of the acclaimed literary quarterly Salmagundi, met Sontag shortly after publishing an essay on her work— years of collaboration followed in Salmagundi symposia, in the New York State Summer Writer Institute, and personal and celebratory events in Saratoga Springs and New York City. In 1965, Boyers petitioned George Steiner for a place in his NYU seminar. Enrollment in that fateful course led to their lifelong friendship, a transcontinental correspondence, and frequent encounters with renowned intellectuals in London and New York.

Though a steadfast friend to both, Boyers was well aware of their mutual antipathy. Maestros & Monsters recounts the tension between the two in intimate detail and the combustible but always engrossing interactions with other intellectuals, among them, Philip Rieff, Edward Said, Irving Howe, Isaiah Berlin, Arthur Koestler, and James Wood,

Boyers nourished and replenished his bond with both of his cherished friends who tested his patience but always rewarded his loyalty with trust and affection.



Robert Boyers founded Salmagundi, an international quarterly, in 1965 and continues to edit the journal, to teach at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and to direct The New York State Summer Writers Institute. Boyers is the author of hundreds of periodical essays and a dozen books, most recently The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, The Academy & The Hunt for Political Heresies (2019). His other works include a volume of short stories, Excitable Men Damaged Women, The Fate of Ideas: Seduction, Betrayals Appraisals. He also edited and wrote the introduction for George Steiner at The New Yorker, a book that has been published in more than twenty languages. 



Advance Praise for Maestros & Monsters: Days & Nights with Susan Sontag & George Steiner by Robert Boyers

“A moving contribution to the history of our intellectual culture.” – Darryl Pinckney

“A thrillingly generous book, it deserves to be seen as following in the grand tradition of Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, Sainte-Beuve’s biographical sketches and Turgenev’s Literary Reminiscences.”—Phillip Lopate

“This superb book takes us back to the last moments of the golden age of American letters.” — Cornel West