Born in 1915 into a poor Jewish family in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Alfred Kazin aspired to the upper reaches of Manhattan literary society. In his twenties he became somewhat of a star with the publication of On Native Grounds, a pioneering study of the American realist novel. Later, he championed writers such as Malamud, Bellow and Roth. Cartier-Bresson's portrait was used as the cover illustration for Kazin's book, Writing Was Everything, published by Harvard University Press in 1995. A new biography has recently been published by Yale University Press.