Born in Great Neck, NY; divorced; mother of one son.
Freelance journalist; New York Times, New York, NY, fashion columnist.
I'm No Saint: A Nasty Little Memoir of Love and Leaving, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals, including the New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, and the New York Post.
Elizabeth Hayt was born and raised in Great Neck, New York, an affluent area where she felt that her family did not quite fit in with the people around them. She grew up and got married as she believed it was expected of her, despite misgivings about the institution. When the marriage dissolved in her mid-thirties, she set about redesigning her life, working as a freelance journalist focusing on fashion, beauty, art, and design, and on the more personal side, throwing herself into the dating scene. Her book, I'm No Saint: A Nasty Little Memoir of Love and Leaving, not only recounts her experiences with marriage and divorce, but gives an honest, detailed look at her sexual relationships from adolescence on, and discusses how she believes her childhood and upbringing affected the choices she made and her outlook on life.
Hayt's book started as a series of short stories that she wrote about her dating experiences, primarily in an attempt to laugh at herself. She then tried to combine several of the shorter works into a novel, but ultimately felt that fiction did not force her to delve deeply enough into her issues. Her literary agent encouraged her to switch to nonfiction, and after two years of full-time writing, the result was her memoir. On her own Web site, Hayt states of finishing the book: "Once I succeeded in doing the thing that daunted me most— the thing that no one demanded I do, the thing that could only be done because I wanted to do it—I realized the only limits I had were those that I set for myself. Now, I'd now like to believe that I have fewer limits because I know what I'm capable of." Commenting on the explicit nature of the book, Montreal Mirror Online contributor Juliet Waters wrote: "For all its bravado, Hayt's pornoir is essentially another contribution to the sex-negative trend. What feminism really needs to be working on at this point is to stop trying to control sex, and start trying to loosen the vice-grip false correlation between sex and self-esteem." Melissa Parcel, reviewing for Curled Up with a Good Book, found the work "brutally honest but also brutally transparent and graphic," while a reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked of Hayt's book that her "honesty about her struggles … will resonate with many."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Hayt, Elizabeth, I'm No Saint: A Nasty Little Memoir of Love and Leaving, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of I'm No Saint, p. 828.
Publishers Weekly, July 18, 2005, review of I'm No Saint, p. 197.
Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (April 19, 2006), Melissa Parcel, review of I'm No Saint.
Elizabeth Hayt Home Page,http://www.elizabethhayt.com (April 19, 2006).
I'm No Saint,http://www.imnosaint.com (April 19, 2006).
Montreal Mirror Online,http://www.montrealmirror.com/ (April 19, 2006), Juliet Waters, "Pornoir Penetration: Elizabeth Hayt Tries to Disentangle Love and Sex in I'm No Saint."