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Description - Recovering by May Sarton

May Sarton's sixty-sixth year, 1978-79, was a difficult time: a cherished relationship came to an end, she had a mastectomy, she fought against depression. But, she writes, "When there is personal darkness, when there is a pain to be overcome, when we are forced to renew ourselves against all the odds, the psychic energy required simply to survive has tremendous force." This journal tells how she drew on that force, and how her friendships, her love of the natural world, and her growing audience of devoted readers brought light to the shadows."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393317176
ISBN-10: 039331717X
Format: Paperback
(211mm x 140mm x 17mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 28-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - Recovering by May Sarton

Book Reviews - Recovering by May Sarton

US Kirkus Review » The novelist, poet, and domestic diarist begins her ten-month journal on "an acutely lonely Christmas week. . . starved for tenderness." Bleakly she ruminates the "disasters" of the past year: a particularly ego-damaging review of her latest novel, The Reckoning, in the New York Times, the loss of a love, and dim prospects for a new one. But though she recounts terrifying moments with her close friend Judy, who has lapsed into a piteous senility, Sarton keeps her current affair of the heart locked and private, On bleak but somehow bracing winter days in her York, Maine, home, Sarton admits that she has lost faith in herself as a woman and a writer. Then, as the year progresses, she struggles for perspective, and a multitude of happenings assuage the loneliness: plants in the morning light, a gallivanting dog, stimulating reading, dear friends, good food and good talk, a lecture tour as far forth as Berkeley. Even pain - Sarton has a mastectomy that summer - will, she hopes, drive out mental anguish. This is essentially, then, a chronicle of a slow recovery from depression, a kind of whistling in the dark as Sarton records her relentlessly busy life - which can cause all sorts of guilts and also drains psychic energy from writing. (She is struggling with a novella.) But recover she does, through a new understanding with her unnamed "lover" - and the reassurance via a PBS documentary profile, that "I do have value as a human being and as a writer." In a sense, this journal is self-indulgent. Sarton is too private a person to allow stringent, bare-bones self-analysis, so her meditations and dollops of advice seems rootless, bloodless, slightly flaccid: "Nothing that happens to us, even the most terrible shock, is unusable, and everything has somehow to be built into the fabric of the personality, just as food has to be built in." But her followers will find her tough resiliency appealing and touching. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - May Sarton

May Sarton (1912-1995) was an acclaimed poet, novelist, and memoirist.

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