May Sarton: Biography

Overview

From acclaimed writer Margot Peters comes the first, completely authorized biography of novelist, poet, and feminist May Sarton. Granted unprecedented access to personal papers and diaries, Peters gives us a compelling look at the woman who influenced a legion of readers with rich and intimate writings, and reveals the fascinating life that Sarton herself kept hidden.

Beginning with a young Sarton largely ignored by her parents, Peters traces the compulsive quest for recognition...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprinted Edition)
$20.74
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$23.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (25) from $2.18   
  • New (9) from $9.11   
  • Used (16) from $2.18   
May Sarton: Biography

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price

Overview

From acclaimed writer Margot Peters comes the first, completely authorized biography of novelist, poet, and feminist May Sarton. Granted unprecedented access to personal papers and diaries, Peters gives us a compelling look at the woman who influenced a legion of readers with rich and intimate writings, and reveals the fascinating life that Sarton herself kept hidden.

Beginning with a young Sarton largely ignored by her parents, Peters traces the compulsive quest for recognition and artistic inspiration that would characterize most of Sarton's life. We witness her at nineteen as she chooses a life in the theater, only to discover later her real passion: writing. As her literary career takes shape, we watch her personal and professional struggles for acceptance, her intense relationships with such learned friends as Muriel Rukeyser and Louise Bogan, and her secret turmoil over her sexuality. But ultimately, we see Sarton begin to create in her works the image of a strong, independent woman who lived peacefully with solitude--an image that often contradicted the reality of her life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her last years, Sarton (1912-1995) worried to a friend, "I have been so depressed at the way I may be massacred by a biographer." In this authorized life of the poet and novelist, Sarton's wounds are self-inflicted. Peters (The House of Barrymore) concedes that Sarton "will never be considered a great writer" and that she "literally made her own reputation" through personal appearances, wowing fervid campus, feminist and lesbian audiences. The most devastating testimony against her, however, emerges from Sarton's own words and from the anger of her many betrayed lovers, some of them discarded muses whose inspirational services were no longer required. As one companion put it, Sarton was "the ardent initiatorDa river of fire"Duntil their affair ruptured on the appearance of a new muse. The biography becomes a litany of book titles (19 novels, 15 poetry collections, 13 memoirs and journals) and descriptions, often striking, of the women sought after and usually subjugated by the "emotionally ravenous" Sarton, who was "incapable of spending more than a few consecutive days in her own company" yet was "impossible to live with." As fair to her subject as the facts permit, Peters, who interviewed Sarton at length in her last years, observes that her subject "never learned a code of honor or responsibility" and could seldom be self-critical. Nor could her publisher, Peters contends, accusing W. W. Norton of "promoting mediocrity" by rushing into print almost everything submitted by "their golden goose," even when written "on automatic pilot." The reader's interest fades as Sarton's "heavy psychic baggage" and overproduction prove too much for her biographer to overcome. Ninety-seven photos illustrate Sarton and the people in her tempestuous life. (Mar.)
Library Journal
With the blessings and cooperation of May Sarton (1912-95), literary biographer Peters, an English professor formerly at the University of Wisconsin, provides an in-depth look into the character, personality, and private life behind the inspirational and dynamic poet, novelist, essayist, journal writer, feminist, and lesbian. Peters chronicles a life full of turbulence, pain, loneliness, neediness, and passion. This biography dispels any myth that Sarton's writing was effortless, portraying the writer's never-ending need for a Muse and the numerous women who played this role. Peters offers a well-written, compelling literary biography to which readers will respond with emotions ranging from empathy, sympathy, awe, and admiration to disgust and disbelief that an artist who produced works that provided inspiration for so many lived with much misery and dissatisfaction. Highly recommended.-Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, N.J.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449907986
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprinted Edition
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Margot Peters has been Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin and holds a Ph.D. in Victorian literature. She is the author of Charlotte Brontë: Style in the Novel, Unquiet Soul: A Biography of Charlotte Brontë, Bernard Shaw and the Actresses, The House of Barrymore, and Mrs. Pat: The Life of Mrs. Patrick Campbell. She lives in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)