Home » Obituaries » In appreciation: Ann Arensberg

In appreciation: Ann Arensberg

Ann Arensberg was my assignment for the Soho News, on the publication of “Sister Wolf” in 1980. Imagine my surprise when I met this lovely woman, smart and modest but with a wild ironic sense of humor about life, liberty and the pursuit of publishing.

I discovered that aside from our background in French lit.,  she loved mysteries, and was passionate about Gothic and the supernatural — which comes out in her work.

Over the years, our keenest shared interest was in gardening, as she created a perennial border along the sweeping driveway to her farmhouse. It was a constant struggle on ungrateful soil, which she mastered over the years.

Most of all I learned of her uncompromising taste. Annuals were a shortcut and out of the question. Ann liked native plants from the New England garden variety. I would send her presents from mail order nurseries, such as a Copper Beech sapling, which she received with effusive thanks and affection. Then I saw she had planted it behind a shed, out of sight, and understood.

Hollyhocks, which I loved, were a No No! Her hands in the soil were her communing after writing.

Her other love I shared was rescued cats, which came from various shelters she patronized.

She and Dick created a beautiful loving haven in the farmhouse and its surrounding land, kept in its wild state as a protective boundary. She and Dick insisted on giving me my marriage, with Dick officiating for the occasion, and Ann catering the celebration for the four of us.

With Ann we lost such a unique luminous spirit, so talented, wickedly witty,  and generous to a fault — always be missed.

Charles Ruas

New York City

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