A selection of her contributions to the New York Review of Books. Few of them are available for free, but a notable one (per the NYT) is her exchange with John Cheever. I’m hoping the NYRB will free up a few of the others.
Christian Lorentzen on Hardwick’s work at Harper’s Magazine.
Hardwick in the New Yorker.
Paris Review 1985 interview:
Her home is clearly that of a writer constantly at work, and strewn throughout is a lifetime’s accumulation of furniture, objects, paintings, posters, photographs, records, heirlooms, and countless books. On either side of the living room are more books: ceiling-high shelves of histories, fiction, and poetry. It is a working library, accumulated with her late husband, the poet Robert Lowell. The daily effort to keep a large library in order has made Hardwick favor paperbacks, preferably those lightweight and storable ones that can be whipped out on a bus or an airplane—nonsmoking section—without too much fuss.
Just as there are books everywhere that indicate the life of the mind, so one frequently comes upon notebooks and notepads on the coffee table, and on the dining room table, things in which she has jotted down lines, questions, ideas. The typewriter goes from room to room, one day upstairs in her study, the next morning downstairs. And then there are the manuscripts from former as well as current students from her various writing classes, which she will read and comment on extensively.
This interview took place in her home, where she occasionally puttered, setting stray books in their places as we talked.
The Slate Magazine obit:
Literary criticism is a peculiar business…In latter years, the once-proud field has been split into two lesser parts, one occupied by the Assistant Professoriat, supplementing their incomes and their reputations with an appearance in this or that semipopular review, and the other occupied by newspaper men and women, who generally have to crank out shallow criticism by the column inch. Both camps are stocked with people who can’t write, or can’t read, and more than a few can’t do either.
Hardwick was something else: In fact, she was the best literary essayist of the last century. Better—yes—than Edmund Wilson, better than Trilling or Steiner or Sontag. She was not as broad as they were, but she was deeper, and line for line a better stylist.