May Sarton by May Sarton
Selected Letters, 1915-1954

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Synopsis

Appearing in book form for the first time, this treasure trove of letters illuminates the life of the beloved poet/writer from early childhood into middle age.

All her life, May Sarton carried on a voluminous private correspondence—with family, friends, and lovers. From the beginning, as these remarkable letters show, the essence of an extraordinary human being was present, her gifts ready to unfurl and mature.

Fittingly, an early letter thanks parents for books. Later we enter the world of the theater, then years rich with study, travel, teaching, and the discipline of craft. Sarton's deep anguish as World War II approaches pervades many letters, but readers will also encounter the things that gave Sarton joy: her love of flowers, her affection for animals, her celebration of beauty in all its guises.

As Sarton divides her time between America and Europe, in an era when ocean voyages were the norm, illustrious acquaintances and intimates are introduced, among them Eva Le Gallienne, Elizabeth Bowen, Virginia Woolf, Muriel Rukeyser, Julian and Juliette Huxley, and Louise Bogan. Always, Sarton's voice is clear and courageous, startlingly candid about her passions, her moods, and her vulnerabilities. Her words, seeming as fresh as when they were written, stand against the backdrop of the crucial events of the century as she invites old and new readers into her personal world. 50 photographs
 

About May Sarton

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Published June 17, 1997 by W. W. Norton & Company. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Self-congratulation permeates the pages: References to Sarton's ""fans"" appear frequently, joined by such boasts as, ""I don't think there are many writers--serious writers--who make as much money as I do."" If this journal was not so obviously intended for publication but was in fact merely a k...

May 01 1992 | Read Full Review of May Sarton: Selected Letters,...

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The May Sarton novel (or novella -- in many cases -- this time too) is a law unto itself consisting always of sympathy, of old-fashioned poetic responses, of a woman true to her time while acknowledging how it has changed.

Sep 24 1973 | Read Full Review of May Sarton: Selected Letters,...

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Sarton died in July at the age of 83, less than a year after the last entry in this journal where she both anticipated death and celebrated life with the keen and unflinching perception that is Sarton at her best.

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Publishers Weekly

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More than kisses, John Donne wrote, letters mingle souls. And very few letters can have been more open, more anxious to mingle, than those of May Sarton's. Her carefully crafted volumes of poe

Jun 16 1997 | Read Full Review of May Sarton: Selected Letters,...

Publishers Weekly

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Sherman (who also edited May Sarton: Selected Letters, 1916–1954) presents 200 of the thousands of letters Sarton wrote in the latter part of her life to a wide range of friends, relatives and readers.

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Writer Sarton reflects on the physical pain and psychological fears involved in growing old while cherishing the things in life (friends, nature and creativity) that keep her going.

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Schade took Sarton's statement of her delight ``in light, solitude, the natural world, love, time, and creation itself'' as an organizing principle for this volume, which combines selections from Sarton's writing with Schade's photographs.

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The letters that American poet and novelist Sarton wrote to Swiss-born sculptor Juliette Baillot Huxley are witty, passionate and soul-baring.

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One artist and lifelong friend noted that a letter from Sarton was ""a bloodrush,"" that he needed to ""take to a private place and savour it alone, like a wonderful meal."" Yet in her craft Sarton was aware of the need to be sparing in written thought: ""Poetry is not an orchid, but a crocus.

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Spirituality & Practice

Reviews Philosophy About Our Affiliates Books & Audios Recently Reviewed This book offers another fine glimpse into the daily life of this poet, novelist, teacher, and lecturer.

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Story Circle Book Reviews

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Aug 19 2008 | Read Full Review of May Sarton: Selected Letters,...

Spirituality & Practice

Reviews Philosophy About Our Affiliates Books & Audios Recently Reviewed This book surveys this gifted poet, novelist, and journal writer's life.

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The Paris Review

The room is small, just shy of two hundred fifty square feet, and an old pickled farm table sits squarely in the middle.

Feb 12 2013 | Read Full Review of May Sarton: Selected Letters,...

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