William Maxwell, Early Novels and Stories (Library of America, $35). How did I fail to laud this collection when it came out earlier this year? Too busy, I guess, but it’s never too late to sing the praises of Maxwell, a legendary New Yorker fiction editor who doubled as one of this country’s most remarkable and least appreciated novelists. The Folded Leaf, written in 1945 and included in this collection, is the place to start, a deeply intelligent tale of adolescence angst that avoids all the pitfalls common to that genre. Also included is “The Writer as Illusionist,” a 1955 essay in which Maxwell discussed his soft-spoken art with characteristic acuteness (TT).