Seduction and Betrayal
'Hardwick's sentences are burned in my brain.' - Susan Sontag
Sidelined. Betrayed. Killed off. Elizabeth Hardwick considers the history of women and literature. She imagines the lives of the Brontes, Woolf, Eliot and Plath; the fate of literary wives such as Zelda Fitzgerald and Jane Carlyle; and the stories of fictional heroines from Richardson's Clarissa to Ibsen's Nora. With her radiant sympathy and wisdom, Hardwick mines their childhoods, marriages, and personalities to probe the costs of sex, love, and marriage. She asks who is the seducer and who the seduced; who the victim and who the victor. Both timely and timeless, these devastatingly stylish essays are nothing less than a reckoning, dissecting relations between the sexes, women and writing, work and life.