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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
Taking as her alter-ego Lily Briscoe – the painter in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse – Mary Meigs paints a portrait of herself, her family and her friends in Lily Briscoe: A Self-Portrait, a book that is both autobiography and memoir. In it, she describes the three major decisions of her life: “not to marry, to be an artist,” and to listen to her “own voices.” She speaks of her parents who belonged to “a generation before their own” and how they instilled in her a sense of guilt, locking her in the prison of her self, a prison constructed “with the material of doubt and failure; of shattered dreams and unhappy loves, jealousy, hate, envy, and the deadly sins of lovelessness and indifference,” but she also tells how she escapes from this prison with the knowledge that her inner sun takes its energy “from love, from creativity.”
Lily Briscoe: A Self-Portrait is a book about the exercise of the will, the art of dreaming, and the transcendent power of friendship. It is a very wise book written by a woman who waited – and lived – some sixty years before beginning to write.
ISBN 13: 9780889221956 | ISBN 10: 889221952
6 W x 9 H x 1 D inches | 264 pages
$16.95 CAN / $19.95 US
Backlist | Non-Fiction | Bisac: BIO026000
QUOTES OF NOTE
A series of landscapes and life drawings, skillfully created.
— Humanities and Applied Arts
About the ContributorsMary Meigs
Born in Philadelphia, writer and painter Mary Meigs wrote her first novel, Lily Briscoe: A Self-Portrait, at the age of 60. For the next two decades, Meigs chronicled her extraordinary life as a writer, a painter, an actress, a social activist and a lesbian feminist. In 1988, Meigs played herself in the critically acclaimed film The Company of Strangers, which resulted in the publication of In the Company of Strangers (1991), a fascinating work documenting her experience during the production of the film. Mary Meigs died in 2002 at the age of 85, shortly before the completion of Beyond Recall.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.