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May Sarton (1912-1995) was an acclaimed poet, novelist, and memoirist.
The distinguished poet/essayist (The Magnificent Spinster, At Seventy) here presents diary entries from April 1986 through February 1987, written while she was recovering from a life-threatening stroke. Sarton, isolated at the time at her New England home, describes poignantly the long, anxious days of weakness and worrry over the future, fears balanced by accounts of faithful friends who brought her material as well as esthetic comfort. The book also contains the author's recollections of early successes and disappointments in her career as well as regrets for lost loves. A lyrical, candid, sensitive spirit pervades this chronicle, which ends with Sarton well again, rejoicing in the present and putting the past behind her. Photos not seen by PW. (April)
Long noted for her poetry and novels, Sarton has been publishing her journals in recent years. In the winter of 1986, at the age of 73, she suffered a serious stroke: this journal is the one she kept during her year-long recovery. Her pithy, almost daily log includes notes about her health, of course, but also traces her relationships with her friends and her pets, her memories of her parents, her ideas about current world events, and her own self-image as a poet. Those who already appreciate Sarton will welcome this chapter from her life, as will readers with a particular interest in the life experiences of contemporary senior citizens. Photos not seen. Francisca Goldsmith, Golden Gate Univ. Lib., San Francisco