THE VIRGIN OF BENNINGTON
By Kathleen Norris. Riverllead. 240 pp.$24.95
fought to hold onto hers. Despite shyness, illness, and at times suicidal depression, she committed herself to her public presence as a writer. International literary festivals and writers’ retreats such as Breadloaf and Yaddo were second homes. Wherever she went, she was greatly beloved—and greatly disliked. Gore Vidal once said, "An hour with a dentist without Novacaine was like a minute with Carson McCullers."
Undiagnosed rheumatic fever led to a series of...