Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Beginning: The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick


Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

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I had been living for some time in the same house on Riverside Drive with Dr. Felix Hoffman and his wife before I actually met them.

-- The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick by Elizabeth Hardwick.

Elizabeth Hardwick wrote three novels, a biography of Herman Melville, and four collections of essays. She was a cofounder and advisory editor of The New York Review of Books and contributed more than one hundred reviews, articles, reflections, and letters to that magazine. She was married to poet Robert Lowell from 1949 to 1972. This book is the first time her short stories have appeared in a collected edition.

I've never read Hardwick's work and am enjoying the stories tremendously. They are collected in publication order. The earlier stories have first-person, female narrators. It may be that, and the Mid-Century New York setting that remind me of some of her contemporaries or near-contemporaries, like Mary McCarthy, Sylvia Plath, Erica Jong, and others.


  1. Interesting beginning, it has me very curious.

  2. I like the sound of this one...thanks for sharing.

  3. You mentioned Erica Jong. She has a new book coming out late summer. Fear of Dying where the protagonist is dealing with aging. I think it might be a great companion to Fear of Flying.

  4. Hi Gilion,

    I checked this one out from the Amazon link you left and was instantly drawn by the alluring dialogue and interesting story premises. I was of course also influenced by the 5star ratings the book has received there.

    Goodreads however tells quite a different story and the ratings and reviews there, reflect the almost unanimous negative comments readers have left.

    I think I shall wait and see what your own thoughts are about this one when you have finished, although you do sound as though you are loving it so far!

    In answer to the question of the day though ...Yes, those first lines on their own, would make me want to keep reading.

    Thanks for sharing and hosting BBOF :)


  5. The opening certainly grabbed my attention. Thanks for sharing. I hope you enjoy a great w.wnd.

    Here is the link for this week@s meme, Best Friends…Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series).

  6. Not quite sure what happened with my first link but it wouldn't work, sorry

  7. Peaking my interest with those first lines.

    Hopefully the book is good.

    ENJOY your reading weekend.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  8. Glad you're enjoying the book. Have a great weekend.

    sherry @ fundinmentalFriday Memes

  9. That is an odd beginning, isn't it?

  10. I haven't heard of them either. Lived in the same house? Did she room with them? Or was it a split house? Please check out mine...

  11. Elizabeth Hardwick sounds like an amazing woman! I hadn't heard of her yet, which is a bit of a shame really, so I will get on that! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  12. This is a new to me author but she sounds worth exploring. I love the beginning!


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