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In appreciation: Ann Arensberg

The first thing to be said about Ann Arensberg straight away was that she was crush material. She had a kind of classic 20th-century beauty about her … the girl next door — but with a dazzling quality of fun and spirit. She was full of girlishness with a kind of prankster spirit about her. She was not a receded beauty.

She was generous about herself, though somewhat shy, and she pushed through that shyness and went out to you and drew you to her. She was hard to resist and why would you?

In back of the country gaiety and charm, the girlishness and slight sense of conspiratorial naughtiness, Ann was a deeply serious, deeply private person. She felt deeply, and lived with equal intensity. At heart, she experienced the world in knotted ways and expressed that in her writing, which was as she was, on the surface, a reassuring patina of everything as it should be.  Further in, things were askew, dark, complicated with dangers lurking  in unforeseen places.

Ann was disciplined as a writer and she was deadly serious about it — about her work, about the dailiness of it, about the thinking of it.  It was meditative and she gave it the room in her life and insulated and protected it. She was a dazzler.   

Victoria Wilson,
VP Executive Editor,
Alfred A. Knopf

New York City

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