Beyond Recall Front Cover

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9780889225053
Pages: 160
Pub. Date: October 1 2005
Dimensions: 9.75" x 6.75" x 0.375"
Rights: Available: WORLD
Non-Fiction / BIO007000

  • BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary Figures

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Beyond Recall

By Mary Meigs
Edited by Lise Weil

An exquisite painter, intellectual, social activist and articulate lesbian feminist, Mary Meigs did not begin her writing career until age sixty. While her books are grounded in the particulars of her personal relationships, they are difficult to categorize. So luminous are they with her painter’s recognition of the dance of shades and hues of context, so unsparingly lucid is her intellect of analytical and mindful thought, so unsentimental and profoundly self-aware is her heart, that her books read like the most exquisitely crafted fiction a life embraced to the fullest, and with eyes wide open, can become in its written record.

Mary Meigs suffered a stroke in 1999. Undaunted and irrepressible, Meigs embraced her fate with both a penetrating curiosity and an utterly undiminished will to create. New, discrete forms of writing emerged: an incisively contemplative journal; a beautifully witty, illustrated fax correspondence between her cat Mike and Marie-Claire Blais’s cat Mouser; and a fascinating series of collaborative “free writing” sketches, beginning with a line or phrase, usually from a poem, on which the writer elaborated without moving pen from paper.

Lise Weil has constructed a celebratory gathering of these magical pieces in Beyond Recall, Meigs’s paean to the indomitable human spirit and its triumph over the infirmities and obstacles old age imposes on the human condition.

Short-listed 2006 Lambda Literary Award

Beyond Recall … is a beautiful, whimsical and detailed description of the last two years of Meigs’ life. It also documents a woman’s life after 80—a virtually unexplored territory. What sticks in Meigs’ mind as chronicled here is both visual and visceral.”

“While [Mary Meigs’s] body is palpably slowing down, her mind is very much alive, as evinced in her wit … She is capable of word games and of creating a humorous dialogue between her fallible mind and index finger. However, her real strengths are virtues of drama, colour (a painter’s mother tongue), and passion that are distilled in succinct images. Creativity trumps gerontology in her case.”
—Globe and Mail

Beyond Recall provides an eloquent coda to Meigs’ literary ouevre …”
—Canadian Literature

“Lise Weil compiled and edited all of [Meigs’s] creative output into an elegant book so that the rest of us could have one last encounter with a remarkable writer.”