Barbizon Revisited

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For Lit Hub, Nathan Hill takes us through the history of the Barbizon Hotel, recounting its role as an incubator for young women writers of the mid-20th century and as a landmark for those same writers to touch upon and mythologize in their work:

Beyond Plath’s infamous retelling, the Barbizon has a strong association in popular culture as a rite-of-passage for “small-town” girls trying to make it in Manhattan. It acted as a kind nexus, bridging the old world of supervision and parental control with the alluring world of the city, energizing many of its residents with the prospect of work, freedom, and, of course, men.


Theodora Messalas is a New York-based writer and editor who could easily be talked into going to grad school. More from this author →