MISS ELIZABETH by Elizabeth & Gerald R. Kelly Anderson


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She was born in 1884 in Saginaw, Michigan and came to New York to study librarianship and work in the Doubleday bookshop where Faulkner joined her, temporarily, and called her Miss Elizabeth, a variant name even her husband perpetuated. He was Sherwood Anderson whom she married at 38. Before and later they were part of that small great world--Stark Young was her tenant; Millay lived nearby; they knew Gertrude Stein and Hemingway in Paris; etc., etc. and for a time the Andersons settled in New Orleans and Virginia before Sherwood became more and more difficult. ""No one understood everything about Sherwood Anderson. Certainly, I did not"" and he does not come off the better for it (he's sulky or irritable or cruel). After their divorce she went and settled in Taxco where Bill Spratling became her closest friend and where to keep busy she ran a specialty clothing shop. The memoir is told with a rather pleasantly patchy randomness; Miss Elizabeth is obviously a plain, no-nonsense sort who on occasion (Hemingway for instance) can turn a remark with some asperity; and all in all, with all the famous people she knew but does not elevate, the reminiscence achieves interest--modest rather than mild.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1969
Publisher: Little, Brown