Havanas in Camelot (Random House) brings together fourteen personal essays by the American novelist William Styron, which he selected just before his death from pneumonia in 2006. All but one of these essays have already appeared in print in magazines that like to feature prominent American men of letters on the cover (The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine, among others). Many of the essays in this slim volume feel like filler, such as the 1998 New Yorker piece that attempts to explain the “weird” list of the hundred best novels written in English in the twentieth century, compiled by the Modern Library’s editorial board. Several of the essays, though, deserve this second chance at life. My favourite is “I’ll Have To Ask Indianapolis—,” in which Styron recalls the struggles he had while writing his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness, at a time when “the grand figures of the previous generation—Faulkner, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, James T. Farrell—were still very much alive, and we young hopefuls were determined to emulate these heroes and stake our claim to literary glory”; now that Styron and most of the “grand figures” from his generation have passed on, you wonder which “young hopefuls” are poised to take their place.