From a profile of Elizabeth Hardwick by Tobi Haslett in Harper’s:
Better to be striking and severe. Hardwick installed herself boldly among the New York Intellectuals, a largely Jewish group of writers preoccupied by modernism and riveted by politics. The Family, as the group was sometimes called, was a pit of erudite vipers, many of the members lapsed Marxists who snapped into a compulsory anticommunism at the start of the Cold War. The journal Partisan Review provided the perfect stage for their postures and disputes: in its pages Philip Rahv, Irving Howe, Edmund Wilson, Hannah Arendt, and Lionel Trilling sharpened their reputations as critics and polemicists, gong-banging arbiters of literature and the left.
Among them Hardwick was considered a pretty, gentile sophisticate with a taste for le mot juste.