Calisher, Hortense 1911–
Calisher, Hortense 1911–
PERSONAL: Born December 20, 1911, in New York, NY; daughter of Joseph Henry (a manufacturer) and Hedwig (Lichstern) Calisher; married Heaton Bennet Heffelfinger, September 27, 1935 (divorced); married Curtis Arthur Harnack (a novelist), March 27, 1959; children: (first marriage) Bennet Hughes (daughter), Peter Hughes. Education: Barnard College, A.B., 1932.
ADDRESSES: Home—205 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019. Agent—Candida Donadio & Associates, Inc., 231 West 22nd St., New York, NY 10011.
CAREER: Social worker for Department of Public Welfare, New York, NY; adjunct professor at Barnard College, New York, NY, 1957, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1968–70, and Columbia University School of the Arts, 1972–73. Visiting professor at Brandeis University, 1963–64, City College of the City University of New York, 1970–71, State University of New York—Purchase, 1971–72, Bennington College, 1978, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1979, and Brown University, 1986. Clark Lecturer, Scripps College, 1968. Regents Professor, University of California—Irvine, 1975. Visiting lecturer at University of Iowa, 1957, 1959–60, Stanford University, 1958, Sarah Lawrence College, 1962, 1967, University of Pennsylvania, 1969, in West Germany, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Hungary, 1978, and for the U.S./China Arts Exchange, Republic of China, 1986.
MEMBER: PEN (president, 1986–87), American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (president, 1987–90).
AWARDS, HONORS: Guggenheim fellow, 1951–52, 1953–54; American Specialist's Grant, U.S. Department of State, 1958, for visiting Southeast Asia; National Council of the Arts award, 1967; Academy of Arts and Letters award, 1967; National Book Award nominations, 1962, for False Entry, 1973, for Herself: An Autobiographical Work, and 1976, for The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher; four O. Henry prize story awards; Hurst fellow, Washington University, 1979; Kafka Prize, University of Rochester, 1986, for The Bobby-Soxer; Lifetime Achievement Award, National Endowment for the Arts, 1989. Litt.D., Skidmore College, 1980, Grinnell College, 1986, Adelphi University, 1988.
False Entry, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1961.
Textures of Life, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1963.
Journal from Ellipsia, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1965.
The New Yorkers, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1969.
Queenie, Arbor House (Westminster, MD), 1971.
Standard Dreaming, Arbor House (Westminster, MD), 1972.
Eagle Eye, Arbor House (Westminster, MD), 1973.
On Keeping Women, Arbor House (Westminster, MD), 1977.
Mysteries of Motion, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1983.
The Bobby-Soxer, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1986.
Age, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1987, published as Age: A Love Story, Marion Boyars (New York, NY), 1996.
Kissing Cousins: A Memory, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1988.
In the Palace of the Movie King, Random House (New York, NY), 1993.
In the Slammer with Carol Smith, Marion Boyars (New York, NY), 1997.
Sunday Jews, Harcourt (New York, NY), 2002.
Tattoo for a Slave, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2004.
In the Absence of Angels, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1951.
Tale for the Mirror: A Novella and Other Stories, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1962.
Extreme Magic: A Novella and Other Stories, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1964.
The Railway Police [and] The Last Trolley Ride (two novellas), Little, Brown, (Boston, MA), 1966.
The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher, Arbor House (Westminster, MD), 1975.
Saratoga, Hot (short stories), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1985.
The Novellas of Hortense Calisher, Modern Library (New York, NY), 1997.
Herself: An Autobiographical Work, Arbor House (Westminster, MD), 1972.
(Editor, with Shannon Ravenel, and author of introduction) Best American Short Stories, 1981, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1981.
(With others) A Century at Yaddo, Corporation of Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY), 2000.
Contributor to numerous anthologies, including Fifty Best American Short Stories, 1915–1965, Best American Short Stories, 1951, Great American Short Stories, Mid-Century: An Anthology of Distinguished American Short Stories, and O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories. Contributor of short stories, articles, and reviews to New York Times, Evergreen Review, Texas Quarterly, American Scholar, New Yorker, Harper's, Harper's Bazaar, New Criterion, Mademoiselle, Reporter, Charm, New World Writing, Ladies' Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Gentleman's Quarterly, Kenyon Review, and Nation.
SIDELIGHTS: Hortense Calisher is "among the most literate practitioners of modern American fiction, a stylist wholly committed to the exploitation of language," wrote a Saturday Review contributor. Calisher's first short stories appeared in the New Yorker in the 1940s, and in the decades since then she has alternated her story collections with novels and novellas. In addition, Calisher has written an autobiographical memoir titled Herself: An Autobiographical Work, that Robert Kiely in the New York Times Book Review considered "primarily and at its best a long meditation on the art of writing fiction in America in the second half of the twentieth century." While the body of Calisher's work has consistently garnered praise, her short stories receive the most acclaim. "Calisher not only is best at writing short stories, she is one of the best," wrote Robert Phillips in his Commonweal review of The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher, and Calisher's four O. Henry awards seem to support this view.
Reviewers note that Calisher's sometimes masterful short stories deliver the unexpected. "Calisher has always specialized in astonishment…. She excels at jamming shocks into deceptively cool narratives," commented Nora Sayre in the New York Times Book Review. For Doris Grumbach, also reviewing in the New York Times Book Review, "what happens in [Calisher's] stories is what [Calisher] has defined as 'an apocalypse, served in a very small cup.' Sudden awareness, epiphanies of character are her metier … [and] the tea cup is the proper vessel for sudden, small visions into the spirit. In a blaze of light, as startling as Paul's Damascan vision, we see, not a string of events, but a tableau, frozen, static, inevitable—and instructive." Thus, according to Sayre, "a dim, fluttering Southern wallflower becomes a Manhattan Communist, achieving apotheosis and an Order of Stalin, second class, after her accidental death in an explosion;… a nighttime scream on 57th Street obsesses and even attracts a widow so lonely that she yearns to hear the scream again;… at a posh London dinner table, the women all suddenly remove their blouses; and a completely bald woman discards her wig while in an intimate embrace with her lover, only to be shunned for her attempt at total honesty." Calisher's fiction, though varied in tone and theme, is often "sorrowful, for most of her characters suffer from their difference, their isolation, their concern with those terrible needs of the human being which for most of us seem destined never to be fulfilled," offered New York Times Book Review critic Gertrude Buckman in her assessment of Calisher's first short story collection, In the Absence of Angels. Additionally, Calisher's characters are inclined to reminisce and become nostalgic, and in some way or another they must grapple with failure. In the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Carolyn Matalene stated that "perhaps the overriding impulse of [Calisher's] literary style is that her characters' carefully nurtured abstractions perpetually clash with realities."
Calisher's compelling novella The Railway Police manifests this idea. In this novella, Calisher writes of a woman who has been dominated for years by her hereditary baldness; she has even aborted the child in her womb for fear of passing on the defect. After witnessing a vagrant's nonchalant reaction to being thrown off of a train by the railway police, the woman, who is never named, attempts to liberate herself from the constraints that have ruled her life. New York Times Book Review contributor R.V. Cassill recounted the woman's attempt to marry "a balding gentleman whose anthropological and artistic tastes imply he will accept her ultimate unveiling with joy." Instead, her lover flees, prompting Cassill to label him a representative of "that modern man who yearns for the nudity of the female, but nudity as he has preconceived it, not as the woman in her full hunger for acceptance and revelation knows it must exist." As full of "terror and torment" as Calisher's works sometimes are, Charles Lee stated in Saturday Review of Literature that they are "neither without compassion nor, more important, without hope…. Calisher seems willing to pin her badly bruised faith on the virtuous potentialities of man." Thus, in The Railway Police, "the heroine's baldness, her deformity, is her humanity, and the story asks us to consider what it means to be human," Joan Joffe Hall noted in Saturday Review.
A substantial amount of Calisher's writing is semi-autobiographical, drawing on her heritage as the Jewish daughter of a transplanted Southerner and a German immigrant living a comfortable, middle-class existence in New York. According to Matalene, the sister and brother characters Hester and Joe Elkin—who first appear in In the Absence of Angels—are both portraits of Calisher, who "grow up and learn about death, about peripheral persons, about female vanity, about the complicity love sometimes requires, and about the burden of parents, whether alive or dead. The Hester stories are, from one point of view, small gems of social history…. And, from another point of view, they are quiet and carefully realized fictions of a young woman's growth into loving and remembering and understanding." In addition, Grumbach figured that a third of the entries in The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher, a compilation of Calisher's three previous collections, are about the author's own family: "her father, mother, aunts, family hangers-on, servants, her brother. She is best … with them because she allows herself to wander among them, an awkward, undervalued, sensitive child among proud, attractive, transplanted, late Victorian Southerners, living out their well-to-do 'comfortable' lives in New York."
Grumbach further labeled Calisher the "quintessential New Yorker, entirely comfortable on its streets, in its apartments, lovingly, almost patriotically, wrapping the whole island in the elegant tissue of her words." Washington Post Book World commentator Anne Tyler explained that while Calisher's settings are often confined to New York, "sometimes it's New York's Fifth Avenue and sometimes the seedy, lead colored warehouse district way, way downtown. And at still other times, it's the closed world of those transplants to the city who have managed, somehow, to bring their natural habitats with them intact." Still, at other times, Calisher, who calls herself a "city bird," is just as at home in the suburbs and small towns or even outer space.
Incorporating Calisher's Jewish heritage, her familiarity with New York, and her understanding of labyrinthine human relationships is her 1969 novel, The New Yorkers. In this work Judge Simon Mannix returns home from a banquet held in his honor to the noise of a gunshot. His twelve-year-old daughter, Ruth, at the onset of her first menarche, has killed his wife as she lay in the arms of a lover. The remainder of the novel chronicles Mannix's life-transforming attempt to conceal the tragedy, even from Ruth. A reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement felt that in The New Yorkers, Calisher "is out to memorialize an institution even closer to the establishment than the Forsytes—the rich, cultured, philanthropic, New York Jewish family…. Her weighty saga is filled with the pain and drama that any family (but in particular such a family, such a race) hides behind its elegant front…. Calisher knows how to create the pattern of blood-relationships which tug and strain to keep a family together." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of the New York Times found that "among [the book's] many themes—which include the relationships of Jews and Gentiles, Jews and Jews, class behavior, parents and children—the predominant one is the polarity between masculinity and femininity…. Consider that opening incident again: a girl who has just become a woman kills her mother … after having witnessed her fornicating with a strange man. Ruth's act is sexually ambivalent, to say the least. And, sure enough, the climactic chapter of The New Yorker; … is Ruth's version of what happened that fatal evening. It is overwhelmingly preoccupied with her search for sexual identity." In the end, on the occasion of Ruth's marriage to a Quaker, "Judge Mannix and his daughter at last manage to put the two halves of their lives together and to affirm both," wrote Matalene.
Apart from its commentary on familial and social relationships, and apart from its treatment of the development of sexual identity, The New Yorkers "is a profoundly local novel. Therein lies its real strength; Calisher knows her chosen city as few others do, and her evocations of it are stunning," Matalene commented. On the other hand, though New York Times Book Review contributor John Brooks praised Calisher's insight into human relationships, he felt The New Yorkers "is another attempt at the always-elusive, never-quite-achieved Great New York Novel. Certainly this brooding and rather overstuffed Gothic tale isn't that. But it has smaller rewards for the reader with patience."
Calisher's novel In the Palace of the Movie King examines dislocation and lost heritage through the ordeal of forced emigration. The novel involves filmmaker Paul Gonchev, born to Russian parents, raised in Japan, and employed by the Albanian government to produce travel documentaries. When his Yugoslavian wife arranges for his kidnaping and subsequent exile to the United States, the traumatic event causes Gonchev to lose speaking ability in all languages except Japanese. Despite the attention he receives as a dissident artist in America, Gonchev longs for his wife in Albania and experiences alienation in his unfamiliar new home. New York Times Book Review contributor Michael Gorra described the novel as "Calisher's ambitious attempt, after a long and distinguished career, to capture the mood of this last decade of the twentieth century, its glorious postmodern Babel, its wealth of new immigrants." Though noting elements of the story that seem somewhat outdated, Gorra concluded that In the Palace of the Movie King "is a kind of love song to an ever-changing America, where to be an exile, both free of and weighted down by one's past, is the national fate."
While many of Calisher's novels deal with issues surrounding personal heritage, Age transcends provincial and ethnic sensibilities to explore universal human fears. The novel features a septuagenarian couple who witness their degenerating physical and mental abilities while facing the inevitability of death and the dreadful loneliness that awaits the surviving spouse. To defend against such despair, both husband and wife agree to keep separate journals intended to console the mourning survivor upon the other's death. The novel revolves around their parallel entries as each reflects on life, relationships, family, and the prospect of living without the other. "In a series of short, alternating chapters, we are taken inside the soul and psyche of each partner," wrote Eleanor J. Bader in Belles Lettres. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews concluded that Age is "an amusing, acrid and sharp view of the 'total disease' of life and death, paced by Calisher's own teasing imagination." However, in a Spectator review, Francis King noted the nearly indistinguishable voices of husband and wife in the story. According to King, "It is in the uniformity of style that Calisher's novella suffers from its one major flaw." New York Times Book Review critic Thomas Mallon found fault in the couple's "morbidly atypical" obsession with death, noting that "one ironic result of Age is that it makes one wonder if it isn't better to live as if there's every tomorrow, right up until death brings its unwanted relief." Despite such criticism, as King proclaimed, "That [Calisher] is a marvel no one should doubt after reading this book."
In 2002, at the age of ninety, Calisher published her fifteenth novel, Sunday Jews. Like the others, wrote Emily Barton in the New York Times Book Review, this work "evinces [the author's] passion for language and com-mitment to the possibilities of both a long sentence and a well-placed pause." Sunday Jews takes place in the mixed-religion marriage of Zipporah Zangwill. A sixtyish anthropologist, Zipporah describes her background as "lace-curtain Jewish," assimilated into the mainstream American culture. "In Calisher's hands," commented New Leader reviewer Tova Reich, "assimilation is good. It fosters diversity and growth, along with a concomitant rejection of narrow orthodoxies and intolerances." Zipporah is married to lapsed Catholic Peter Duffy; they have raised five children while enduring the childhood death of a sixth. The novel's title refers to a weekly get-together of Zipporah's intellectual and conflicted offspring, plus an assortment of spouses, lovers, and friends. The couple's ambiguous spirituality affects the children, including a daughter, Nell, who "unapolo-getically bears children out of wedlock," noted Barton, "then sends them to every available kind of Sunday school, including Buddhist." The Zangwill-Duffy family faces a crossroads with the advancing senility of Peter; Zipporah sells their Manhattan townhouse and embarks with her husband on a journey of memory to the "exotic places she had visited and studied," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
Sunday Jews earned widespread plaudits. Typical of Calisher, the novel's sentences "burst wide open into absolute pandemonium," as Beth Kephart put it in Book. Kephart added that beyond the author's athleticism with language, it is her heartfelt scenes of Zipporah's death that "reflects the genius of this most mystifying writer." "It was my great pleasure to discover how beautifully [Sunday Jews] is plotted," said Barton. More than one reviewer found traces of the influence of turn-of-the-twentieth-century American writers Henry James and Edith Wharton in Calisher's novel, as if "Wharton had written about assimilated Jews rather than status-conscious WASPS," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor. Booklist's Donna Seaman judged Sunday Jews as "Jamesian in style and intent," as it "traces the meshing of inner and outer words with voluptuous precision."
If there is any one aspect of Calisher's writing on which reviewers disagree, it is her way with language. Some critics have found her prose "superlative," "exciting," and "gorgeous," while others have described it as "self-congratulatory," "self-indulgent," and even "pretentious." Jean Martin wrote in the Nation that for the author, the telling is all: "In Calisher the art lies in all that she puts into a sentence. From a glittering vocabulary she chooses words that bejewel the tiara of sentence structure." Saturday Review critic David Boroff, commenting on Calisher's third short-story collection, Extreme Magic, likewise considered her "an immaculate stylist, a precisionist of the utmost rigor, and an arresting phrase-maker." Kiely felt that her fiction reads like "the kind of language … one might expect from a metaphysical poet."
On the other hand, though he admitted to a fondness for "a rich, even an overripe prose," New York Times Book Review critic Anatole Broyard noted in his assessment of Calisher's novel On Keeping Women that "all too often … [her] rhetoric seems to me to mire her characters as well as the movement of her book…. J.D. Salinger said, sentimentality means loving someone more than God loves them, and I think … Calisher may be guilty as charged. Or perhaps it is language that she loves more than God does—it is hard to distinguish people from the prose." Hall made a similar statement, noting that in the novella The Last Trolley Ride, "Calisher's style is, at its best, witty and ripe with insights; words melt in her mouth like … fritters. But she has such an appetite for language, for seasoning in every sentence, that at its worst her style can become opaque, no medium for discovery and elucidation, a risky idiom for narrating events, dangerous for long fiction." On the whole, noted Matalene, "critics are more comfortable with the terse prose of [Calisher's] … short story style than with the stylistic exuberances of her novels."
In Kissing Cousins: A Memory, an autobiographical memoir that appeared in 1988, Calisher reflects on her friendship with Katie Pyle, a Southern Jewish girl fifteen years her senior. Pyle nursed Calisher when she suffered from childhood diphtheria and remained a lasting influence in her life as an adult role model and supporter. Kissing Cousins describes the author's fascination with Pyle's Southern background, which her own father shared, and memorializes Pyle's ceaseless compassion. According to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, Kissing Cousins is a "brave, deeply affecting memoir" that displays the "gift for sharply drawn characters and gimlet wit" that distinguishes Calisher's fiction. "The entire inspiration of her book is to pay tribute to a woman she loved, a substitute younger mother or older sister you might say, who died at the beginning of the 1980s," wrote Seymour Krim in Washington Post Book World. "There is a brooding melancholy that settles over the end of Kissing Cousins," observed New York Times Book Review contributor Roy Hoffman. Referring to the Jewish tradition of remembering the dead, Hoffman concluded that "Calisher's deeply personal and touching book is in keeping with this philosophy."
Calisher's memoir Tattoo for a Slave opens with Calisher's father telling her that her greatly respected grandparents never kept slaves, only freed servants. However as times progresses, the author describes a startling and hurtful revelation. It is only after she is fully grown and her parents have died that Calisher discovers a receipt while cleaning out her parents' safe-deposit box, for two insurance policies taken out by her grandfather years before on two of his "servants." The author describes her struggle to come to terms with the reality that her family did indeed keep slaves in "the most lovely language imaginable—Emersonian in its richness, Nabokovian in its evocativeness," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor who referred to Tattoo for a Slave as "a dazzling memoir."
While reviewers inevitably comment on Calisher's literary style, she shuns being labeled a "stylist." "When it begins to be said that I have a style, am a 'stylist,' I chafe. Doesn't this mean I have nothing to say comparable to the way I say it—or else that anything I say will all sound the same?" she questions in Herself. Calisher further explains in Kissing Cousins that she "hears" her prose before she writes it. According to the author, "this makes for a prose that can always be read, often subtly demands that. Sometimes leading to a rhetoric which, loving its own rhythms, may stray too far from sense, or fall into marvelous accident."
That Calisher may at times use overly fancy prose or self-indulgent language stems from her unwillingness to hide behind her writing. Kiely stated that "one of the recurring themes of [Calisher's] memoir and one of the distinctions of her art [is] that she does not write on behalf of New Yorkers, Americans, Jews, women, liberals, or, for that matter, writers. She writes on behalf of herself." Though the "invisible novelist" may be the current vogue, "Calisher has never been a writer who masked her thinking self or disappeared into her subject," commented Morris Dickstein in his New York Times Book Review article on The Bobby-Soxer. Calisher "belongs to a different tradition descending from Henry James, in which the writer's own complex intelligence—his humming eloquence, his subtle knowingness—becomes essential to his equipment as a storyteller," the contributor added. "Far from holding the mirror up to life, this kind of writer diffracts it through the prism of his sensibility, as if to show how many-faceted it is, how much he himself has made it up." Susan Rochette-Crawley noted in Reference Guide to Short Fiction that "while one does not read a Calisher story to see the most recent narrative trends, one does read her stories for their technical perfection and her skill with language."
As Matalene observed in her Dictionary of Literary Biography essay, "For Calisher, the act of writing and the act of living tend to be congruent, and perhaps this accounts for the deep feeling of sympathy with those ordinary people which her writing conveys. In the conclusion to Herself, she wrote: 'Perhaps my own process is not so much my own as I thought, nor even one that only artists know—but one that we share with other Americans, other People. Less and less do I see any gap—in the process of us all.'"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Calisher, Hortense, Herself: An Autobiographical Work, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1972.
Calisher, Hortense, Kissing Cousins: A Memory, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1988.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 2, 1974, Volume 4, 1975, Volume 8, 1978, Volume 38, 1986.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 2: American Novelists since World War II, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1978.
Modern American Literature, 5th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), pp. 186-189.
Newquist, Roy, Conversations, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1967.
Reference Guide to American Literature, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2000, pp. 139-141.
Reference Guide to Short Fiction, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999, pp. 110-112.
Snodgrass, Kathleen, The Fiction of Hortense Calisher, University of Delaware Press (Newark, DE), 1993.
American Libraries, February, 1993, review of Age, p. 200.
Atlantic, October, 1972.
Belles Lettres, winter, 1989, Eleanor J. Bader, review of Age, p. 7.
Best Sellers, January, 1984, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 356; May, 1986, review of The Bobby-Soxer, p. 43.
Book, July-August, 2002, Beth Kephart, review of Sunday Jews, p. 81.
Booklist, November 1, 1983, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 397; May 15, 1985, review of Saratoga, Hot, p. 1293; March 15, 1986, review of The Bobby-Soxer, p. 1057; September 15, 1987, review of Age, p. 107; September 15, 1988, review of Kissing Cousins, p. 113; September 15, 1993, re-view of In the Palace of the Movie King, p. 126; June 1, 1997, review of In the Slammer with Carol Smith, p. 1654; December 15, 1997, review of The Novellas of Hortense Calisher, p. 684; May 1, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of Sunday Jews, p. 1507.
Books, November 4, 1962; April 28, 1963.
Book World, October 1, 1972.
Christian Science Monitor, November 11, 1965; January 18, 1984, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 22; August 8, 1984, review of The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher, p. 25.
Commonweal, May 7, 1976.
Detroit News, December 25, 1983.
Generations, spring, 1993, review of Age, p. 83.
Harper's, March, 1971.
Horn Book, June, 1984, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 372.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1983, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 964; April 1, 1985, review of Saratoga, Hot, p. 288; February 1, 1986, review of The Bobby-Soxer, p. 140; July 15, 1987, review of Age, p. 1009; August 1, 1988, review of Kissing Cousins, p. 1112; October 1, 1993, review of In the Palace of the Movie King, p. 1217; April 1, 1997, review of In the Slammer with Carol Smith, p. 320; October 15, 1997, review of The Novellas of Hortense Calisher, p. 1553; April 15, 2002, review of Sunday Jews, p. 510, July 1, 2004, revew of Tattoo for a Slave, p. 612.
Library Journal, December 1, 1983, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 2261; June 15, 1985, review of Saratoga, Hot, p. 71; May 15, 1986, review of The Bobby-Soxer, p. 76; August, 1987, review of Age, p. 139; August, 1993, review of In the Palace of the Movie King, p. 148; April 1, 1997, review of In the Slammer with Carol Smith, p. 122; May 1, 1998, review of The Novellas of Hortense Calisher, p. 144.
Listener, April 21, 1966, Anthony Burgess, review of Journal from Ellipsia, p. 589.
Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1983, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 1; February 25, 1986; June 2, 2002, Susan Salter Reynolds, "Three Questions for Hortense Calisher," p. R4.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 9, 1983; July 21, 1985, review of Saratoga, Hot, p. 5; December 13, 1987, review of Age, p. 11.
Ms., January, 1974; July, 1984, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 30.
Nation, November 18, 1961; June 29, 1974; December 1, 1997, review of The Novellas of Hortense Calisher, and In the Slammer with Carol Smith, p. 34.
New Leader, January 19, 1976; June 16, 1986, review of The Bobby-Soxer, p. 20; May-June, 2002, Tova Reich, "The Case for Assimilation," p. 36.
New Republic, November 3, 1973, Irving Malin, review of Eagle Eye, p. 26; October 25, 1975.
New Statesman, September 13, 1963, Brigid Brophy, review of Textures of Life, p. 326.
Newsweek, April 29, 1963; October 16, 1972.
New York Review of Books, June 25, 1964, Eve Auchincloss, review of Extreme Magic, p. 17; December 15, 1966.
New York Times, May 12, 1966; April 18, 1969; November 9, 1972; October 13, 1975; November 1, 1977; November 8, 1983.
New York Times Book Review, November 18, 1951; October 29, 1961; May 12, 1963; November 7, 1965; May 22, 1966; April 13, 1969; March 28, 1971; October 1, 1972, Robert Kiley, review of Herself: An Autobiographical Work, p. 3; November 11, 1973; October 19, 1975; October 23, 1977; November 6, 1983, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 7; May 20, 1984; June 17, 1984, review of The Collected Stories of Hortese Calisher, p. 32; May 26, 1985, review of Saratoga, Hot, p. 10; March 30, 1986, Morris Dickstein, review of The Bobby-Soxer, p. 5; October 18, 1987, Thomas Mallon, review of Age, p. 14; December 18, 1988, Roy Hoffman, review of Kissing Cousins, p. 23; February 20, 1994, Michael Gorra, review of In the Palace of the Movie King, p. 12; July 27, 1997, review of In the Slammer with Carol Smith, p. 17; January 25, 1998, review of The Novellas of Hortense Calisher, p. 19; June 2, 2002, Emily Barton, "6 Rms Riv Vu," p. 10.
Partisan Review, number 2, 1980, review of On Keeping Women, p. 308.
Publishers Weekly, September 16, 1983, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 116; February 24, 1984, review of The Collected Stories of Hortese Calisher, p. 138; April 12, 1985, review of Saratoga, Hot, p. 87; February 7, 1985, review of The Bobby-Soxer, p. 60; July 31, 1987, review of Age, p. 69; July 29, 1988, review of Kissing Cousins, p. 218; October 11, 1993, review of In the Palace of the Movie King, p. 69; March 17, 1997, review of In the Slammer with Carol Smith, p. 74; October 27, 1997, review of The Novellas of Hortense Calisher, p. 54; May 6, 2002, review of Sunday Jews, p. 35, June 28, 2004, review of Tattoo for a Slave, p. 38.
Quill & Quire, February, 1984, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 41.
Reporter, November 17, 1966.
Review of Contemporary Fiction, spring, 1994, review of In the Palace of the Movie King, p. 216.
Saturday Review, October 28, 1961, Granville Hicks, review of False Entry, p. 17; October 27, 1962; May 2, 1964; December 25, 1965; June 18, 1966; April 3, 1971; October 14, 1972; October 18, 1975; July-August, 1985, review of Saratoga, Hot, p. 76.
Saturday Review of Literature, December 1, 1951.
Sewanee Review, January, 1999, review of The Novellas of Hortense Calisher, p. 134.
Southern Review, winter, 1985, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 204.
Spectator, May 25, 1996, Francis King, review of Age, p. 32.
Time, October 22, 1965; May 16, 1966; May 19, 1969.
Times Literary Supplement, January 15, 1970.
Virginia Quarterly Review, summer, 1969; spring, 1984, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 55.
Wall Street Journal, June 20, 1997, review of In the Slammer with Carol Smith, p. A16.
Washington Post, December 31, 1983.
Washington Post Book World, March 28, 1971; September 18, 1977; November 6, 1977; May 27, 1984, review of The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher, p. 16; June 9, 1985, review of Saratoga, Hot, p. 8; January 8, 1989, Seymour Krim, review of Kissing Cousins, p. 7.
West Coast Review of Books, January, 1984, review of Mysteries of Motion, p. 41; September, 1986, review of The Bobby-Soxer, p. 37.
Writer's Digest, March, 1969.