Nancy Hale

Nancy Hale in a 1936 portrait for the magazine Harper's Bazaar. (Nancy Hale Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College)

Major works:
The Prodigal WomenThe Life in the Studio • “The Earliest Dreams” • “Midsummer” • “To the North” • “Sunday—1913” • “Who Lived and Died Believing” • “A Slow Boat to China” • “Sunday Lunch”

“Nancy Hale—who had such an eye and ear for formalities and social manners that we might at first imagine she was dazzled by them—was herself an astute, sneaky, radical writer who carefully seamed her garment to fit perfectly, then tore out the stitches as we looked away.”
—Ann Beattie

“I believe that Hale still has a lot to teach contemporary writers . . . . Her style still feels very current because she did not adopt many of the modernist modes of writing. Her parents were both visual artists who painted portraits—very traditional but very enduring—and in some ways Hale was the same way. She is a classic storyteller concerned with the ‘eternal verities’ rather than adopting the aesthetics of the zeitgeist.”
—Phon Nguyen

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