Joanne O’Leary: What makes a waif?

What I’m looking for, maybe unfairly, is a way of reconciling the Maeve Brennan who basked in the ‘lavish solitude’ of ‘small, inexpensive restaurants’ – ‘the home fires of New York City’ – with the Brennan who sparkles in her colleagues’ memoirs. The New Yorker columns bear no trace of the woman who went to a party hosted by E.B. White and silenced the room by yelling: ‘Fuck you, Brendan Gill, you goddamn Roman Catholic!’