Regarding your recent article on Jesse Lynch Williams 1892 (Princeton Portrait, April issue): Many years ago, before they had an internet, I stumbled upon Williams’ Princeton Stories at a bookstore up in somewhere or other, but probably in Connecticut. In those days they had this delightful thing called browsing in which you didn’t know what you were looking for until you found it. You could spend hours not knowing and often not finding. Imagine the joy I felt several years later when I found The Adventures of a Freshman at a bookstore in somewhere or other else, possibly Massachusetts. It felt like magic. Like there was a purpose to the universe, an Intelligence guiding our lives.

But that’s not why I’m writing. I want to add that Williams wrote a play called Why Marry? that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1918. And in 1922 he wrote a companion piece called Why Not? I’m not sure I ever found copies of those plays. Nowadays it would be child’s play to locate them. The guy really was ahead of his time. Women’s rights, sequels, so much more. 

My bookstore companion Joe Harbeson ’74 still has his copy of The Adventures of a Freshman, apparently a first edition. My copy, if I ever had one, has disappeared. 

Jim Shankman ’74
New York, N.Y.