Friday, October 8, 2010

May Sarton for Late October

I just ripped open the little Amazon box that arrived today, and inside I found my read for the second half of October, The Small House by May Sarton. I'm so delighted that a discussion of this book will be brewing at the end of the month.

I've been intrigued by May Sarton ever since I read Journal of a Solitude in the late '80s. Oh, how I cherish that book! I read it at a time of great chaos and pain in my personal life, and the book stirred and calmed me. It reconnected me to the rhythms of the earth and to the daily rituals that keep us connected to life.

Sarton was a poet, a novelist, an essayist, an intellectual, an academic. She taught for several years at Wellesley College when I was a nine-year-old in Natick, the town to the west of Wellesley. This was a time of enormous chaos in Sarton's personal life. She was in love with Wellesley's president, and according to Sarton, the president resoundingly rejected their brief relationship and denied that one had ever existed. No open lesbian relationships in early 1960s Boston! Nor could a hint of one be permitted. Sarton left Wellesley shortly afterward.

Most people who knew Sarton have acknowledged what she openly confessed: She was a difficult person who had intense, stormy relationships with the people she loved. Yet her art! Please discover May Sarton and a Journal of a Solitude, or perhaps, the book that followed, The House by the Sea.


  1. My TBR is growing by leaps and bounds; but The Small Room has found a place at the top of it. I read the description at W.W. Norton. The plot is one I will probably be drawn into. Thanks.

  2. Another one for my ever growing list. Thanks, I think!

  3. I have never heard of Sarton but now I'm intrigued.. Thanks for bringing her to my attention!

  4. I read and loved Journal of a Solitude long ago, then read several other Sarton titles. They were all eclipsed by Journal, but I am a little jealous of your Amazon package...