Christian Lorentzen at Bookforum:
The case of Elizabeth Hardwick is vexing in these ways and more. She was one of the supreme women of letters in postwar America. The scope of her achievement, much of it accomplished in occasional writings undertaken across six decades, has only begun to come into view with the appearance in 2017 of her Collected Essays. (A volume of Uncollected Essays is to follow this spring.) She chronicled the transformations of American life and culture across seven decades, traced the progress of American literature from its beginnings here and in Europe, connected those roots and parallel strands to the present in essays of idiosyncratic synthesis, and realized those ideas in her own fictions. She was a singular stylist and an essential writer of her time.