Elizabeth Hardwick (July 27, 1916 to December 2, 2007) was a major fixture in 20th century American literature. Like her husband Robert Lowell, her literary output was award winning in several genres. We quote now from her novel Sleepless Nights, (1979). Critics have noted the similarities between her own and her heroine's life. So we may assume there probably was a "brown skinny cat" with the "yellowish Oriental gaze," in a book lined Manhattan apartment.
Her novels though are not as significant as her literary criticism. Her book reviews helped to expand that format into a means of discussing major ideas. She was one of the founders of the New York Review of Books, (1963) and thus part of the picture conveyed in those pages, of the American intellectual as a colossus astride the plains of culture. I myself, like to remember her as the editor of The Selected Letters of William James (1961).