Diana Trilling, a sharp-tongued literary critic, author and key figure on the New York intellectual scene for more than 60 years, has died at 91, hospital officials said.
Ms. Trilling, widow of Lionel Trilling, a Columbia University professor famed for his literary and cultural criticism, died Wednesday at Columbia Presbyterian hospital.
She once described her role in fighting the city's intellectual wars and debating the social and political issues of the day, from Communism to Columbia University student riots in 1968, as "a life of significant contention."
Both Trillings were known as uncompromising critics, and the phrase "Trilling killings" was sometimes used to describe their work, especially after a negative review destroyed some author's sense of self-worth.
Ms. Trilling, the book critic of the Nation magazine for a decade, liked to tell the story of an Austrian refugee who had lost his country, his home and his language but had at least one good fortune -- "he has not been reviewed by me."
The Trillings were prominent members of a group of writers, artists and critics who became known internationally from the 1930s on as "New York intellectuals."