Books: The Lady Sings The Blues

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS by Elizabeth Hardwick Random House; 151 pages; $8.95

"Very few women writers can resist the temptation of feminine sensibility; it is there to be used, as a crutch, and the reliance upon it is expected and generally admired."

Much has changed since Elizabeth Hardwick wrote those words nearly a generation ago. "Feminine" has toughened to "feminism." "Sensibility," a blandishment of the literary critic, has become "consciousness," a cliche of the cultural revolutionary. But her view still holds; as an essayist and a power in New York literary circles, Hardwick has kept her...

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