Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Beginning: The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick


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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.

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