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The man who nourished Boston’s literary scene

For decades poet William Corbett and his wife, Beverly, hosted a bustling salon in their South End home. Although they left town this summer, the writers and artists they inspired can only hope the spirit of the place is here to stay.

JHUMPA LAHIRI WASN’T SURE SHE COULD BE A WRITER. Although as a child she had harbored dreams of doing just that, they had gradually been eaten away by self-doubt — she could scarcely believe the books she loved had been written by real people.  “At twenty-one,” she recalled in a 2011 New Yorker essay, “the writer in me was like a fly in the room — alive but insignificant, aimless, something that unsettled me whenever I grew aware of it, and which, for the most part, left me alone.”

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