Author(s): Elizabeth Hardwick
Elizabeth Hardwick wrote during the golden age of the American literary essay. She covered civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s, places where she lived, locations she traveled to, theater she had seen, and murder trials that gripped her. She wrote sketches for various occasions and countless essays about literature, her greatest passion. For Hardwick, the essay was an imaginative endeavor. The continuous attention to language, the structure of observations, the line of interpretation- Hardwick deserves to be read and reread for the clarity of her perceptions and her enduring assessments of literature and society, and simply for the beauty of her writing alone.Edited and with an introduction by Darryl Pinckney, The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick gathers more than fifty essays for a retrospective of this writer or moral courage, as Joan Didion called her. Hardwick's readings define literature itself.
The first-ever collection of essays from Elizabeth Hardwick's illustrious writing career, including works not seen in print for decades.
Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-2007) was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and educated at the University of Kentucky and Columbia University. A recipient of a Gold Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is the author of three novels, a biography of Herman Melville, and four collections of essays. She was a co-founder and advisory editor of The New York Review of Books and contributed more than one hundred reviews, articles, reflections, and letters to the magazine. NYRB Classics publishes Sleepless Nights, a novel, and Seduction and Betrayal, a study of women in literature.Darryl Pinckney, a longtime contributor to The New York Review of Books, is the author of the novels Black Deutschland and High Cotton and of the nonfiction work, Blackballed- The Black Vote and US Democracy (New York Review Books).