NEW YORK, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Elizabeth Hardwick, a writer, critic, founder of the New York Review of Books and former wife of poet Robert Lowell, has died at the age of 91.
The Kentucky-born Hardwick, who died Dec. 2, spent most of her adult life in New York, The Independent reported Saturday. She moved to the city in 1939 to attend graduate school at Columbia University and stayed on as a freelance writer, enjoying the city's bohemian pleasures.
Hardwick and Lowell were married from 1949 to 1972, a union punctuated by his breakdowns and infidelity, and by the birth of a daughter when Hardwick was 40. But the couple remained close even though Lowell remarried. He died in 1977 of a heart attack in a taxi while on his way to see Hardwick.
In 1963, Hardwick and Jason and Barbara Epstein founded the New York Review of Books. Her last piece for the magazine, an essay on Nathanael West, was published in 1963.
Hardwick was wrote three novels, but was best known as an author of essays and critical pieces, including many on female writers. Her last book, published in 2000, was a biography of Herman Melville.