Elizabeth Hardwick, a Kentucky-born author and critic whose incisive prose and steady spirit helped fulfill her dream of becoming a New York intellectual, was among the last survivors of a promiscuous, hard-drinking circle of highbrow intellectuals that included Edmund Wilson, Lionel and Diana Trilling, Mary McCarthy, Philip Rahv and the celebrated poet Robert Lowell, with whom she had a famously difficult marriage.
Hardwick was wed to Lowell in 1949 and suffered through his infidelities and manic-depression. He endlessly left her and then changed his mind. They divorced in 1972 but remained close and five years later were on the verge of reconciling when he collapsed and died in a taxi on his way home to her.
Elizabeth Hardwick, who lived for decades on Manhattan's Upper West Side, died in her sleep Sunday night after being hospitalised with a minor infection.
She was 91.
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