Darryl Pinckney, Daphne Merkin & Sigrid Nunez: The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick
Where: 192 Books
192 Tenth Ave.
212-255-4022 Price: Free
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Elizabeth Hardwick wrote during the golden age of the American literary essay. For Hardwick, the essay was an imaginative endeavor, a serious form, criticism worthy of the literature in question. In the essays collected here she covers civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s, describes places where she lived and locations she visited, and writes about the foundations of American literature—Melville, James, Wharton—and the changes in American fiction, though her reading is wide and international. She contemplates writers’ lives—women writers, rebels, Americans abroad—and the literary afterlife of biographies, letters, and diaries. Selected and with an introduction by Darryl Pinckney, the Collected Essays gathers more than fifty essays for a fifty-year retrospective of Hardwick’s work from 1953 to 2003. “For Hardwick,” writes Pinckney, “the poetry and novels of America hold the nation’s history.” Here is an exhilarating chronicle of that history.
Darryl Pinckney selected The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick (2010). He is the author of two novels, High Cotton (1992) and Black Deutschland (2016), and of two works of nonfiction, Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature (1992) and Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy (2014). He also worked for Robert Wilson on his productions of The Forest, Orlando, Time Rocker, The Old Woman, Letter to a Man, and Garrincha: A Street Opera.
Daphne Merkin is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and a regular contributor to Elle. Her writing frequently appears in The New York Times, Bookforum, Departures, Travel + Leisure, Vogue, Tablet Magazine, and other publications. Her latest book is This Close to Happy: A Reckoning With Depression. Her previous books include Enchantment, which won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for best novel on a Jewish theme, and two collections of essays, Dreaming of Hitler and The Fame Lunches, which was one of The New York Times Book Review’s Hundred Notable Books of the Year. She lives in New York City.
Sigrid Nunez has published six novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, and Salvation City. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. Among the journals to which she has contributed are The New York Times, The Paris Review, Threepenny Review, and Harper’s. Her honors and awards include four Pushcart Prizes, a Whiting Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, the Rome Prize in Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award. Her new novel, The Friend, will be published in February 2018.