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Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant at the American Hospital in Paris
Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant Papers

As a war correspondent for the New Republic in 1918, Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant was wounded by a land mine while touring a battlefield. She spent several months recovering in a Paris hospital. Her book Shadow-Shapes: Journal of a Wounded Woman (1920) describes her experiences during this time. Upon her return to the United States, her doctor encouraged her to move to the warm, dry climate of the Southwest; Sergeant moved to New Mexico in 1920.



Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant relocated to Taos in 1920 while recovering from an injury she received touring a French battlefield in 1918. In Taos, she found a place within a community of regional writers that included D. H. Lawrence, Mabel Dodge Luhan, and Willa Cather, a regular visitor, as well as the then well-known feminist and environmental writer Mary Hunter Austin. In addition to several books, including French Perspectives (1916), Shadow-Shapes: Journal of a Wounded Woman (1920), and Short as Any Dream (1929), her only novel, Sergeant wrote a great many biographical profiles of writers and other important American figures such as Robert Frost, Paul Robeson, Elinor Wylie, and Amy Lowell; she also wrote about many friends and fellow writers in Taos. Some of Sergeant’s biographical writings were collected in Fire Under the Andes (1927); other profiles led to book-length biographies, including her study of the life and work of Willa Cather.



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