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May Sarton Book Descriptions


Coming Into Eighty: Poems
ISBN 0-393-03689-8, W. W. Norton, ©1994 by May Sarton, cloth, Reissue ©1997, by May Sarton, ISBN 0-393-31623-8, W.. W. Norton, Paper
This book was her last book of poetry and winner of The Levinson Prize.

Collected Poems, 1930-1993
ISBN 0-393-03493-3, W. W. Norton, ©1993, 1988, 1984, 1974 by May Sarton, Cloth
The poems are arranged chronologically from her 15 volumes of poetry published during six decades. (Coming Into Eighty was published after this collection.)

The Silence Now:New and Uncollected Earlier Poems
ISBN 0-393-30635-6, W. W. Norton, ©1988 and 1990, Paper
This volume of lyric poetry has to do with absence, the death of animal and human friends, the shadows and richness of old age.

Letters from Maine
ISBN 0-393-31716-1, W. W. Norton, ©1984, reissue 1997, by May Sarton, Paper
A brief passionate love affair, its passing and the poetic vision it brought her inspired these poems.

Halfway to Silence: New Poems
ISBN, W. W. Norton, 0-393-00992-0, ©1980 by May Sarton, Paper
Poetry was central to May Sarton's creative passion, and had always come from the inspiration of a Muse. After over fifty years of her life as a poet she wondered if she would ever feel that fire again.. She did, as this book reveals.

Selected Poems of May Sarton
edited by Serena Sue Hilsinger and Lois Brynes: ISBN 0-393-04512-9, W. W. Norton, © 1978, reissue ©1997 by May Sarton, Paper
The poems are gathered into seven sections: The Composed Imagination, Love, Solitude, Nature, In a Dirty Time, Invocations and Mythologies, and The Action of Therapy.

A Grain of Mustard Seed
ISBN 0-393-04344-4, W. W. Norton, ©1971 by May Sarton, Paper
The poems in this book are reflections on politics, religion, animals, old age and children.

A Private Mythology: Poems
ISBN 0-393-31552-5, W. W. Norton, ©1966 reissue 1996 by May Sarton, Cloth
These poems reflect on her experiences during her around-the-world trip to celebrate her 50th birthday, and then returning to her roots set down in her home in Nelson, New Hampshire.


I Knew a Phoenix: Sketches for an Autobiography
ISBN 0-393-31248-2, W. W. Norton, ©1954 reissue 1995 by May Sarton, Paper
In this her first nonfiction book, May Sarton writes about her early childhood in Belgian, her family's move to Cambridge, Massachusetts and her education in Belgium, at the Shady Hill School, and Cambridge High and Latin. Interwoven with this are vignettes of people who influenced her life.

Plant Dreaming Deep
ISBN 0-393-31551-7, W. W. Norton, ©1968 by May Sarton, reissue 1996, Paper
This is the book that drew Edith Royce Schade into the work of May Sarton. It is a memoir of the years when she planted roots of her English, Belgian and American heritage and experience in a small New Hampshire village.

Journal of a Solitude
ISBN 0-393-30928-2, W. W. Norton, ©1973, by May Sarton, reissue 1992, Paper
More quotes in From May Sarton's Well come from this than any other Sarton book. It has become a beloved resource for those who would live in "the richness of self" through solitude.
For W. W. Norton's Reading Group Guide for this title, click here:

A World of Light: Portraits and Celebrations
ISBN 0-393-30500-7, W. W. Norton ,©1976 by May Sarton, reissue 1988, Paper
Sarton vividly portrays and celebrates her parents and ten friends who influenced her formative years.

The House by the Sea
ISBN 0-393-31390-5 W. W. Norton, ©1977 by May Sarton, reissue ©1995
In May 1973 May Sarton moved from the home she owned in a small New Hampshire village to "Wild Knoll", the house she rented on the seacoast in York, Maine. She writes about the transformations brought to her inner life as she moved from the turmoil of personal anguish inland, to the peace and usually solitary life by the sea.

Recovering: A Journal
ISBN 0-393-317717-X , W.W. Norton, ©1980 , reissue 1997 by May Sarton, Paper
Sarton's sixty-sixth year, 1978-79, was a difficult time for her as a cherished relationship ended, her latest novel received a devastating review, she had a mastectomy and fought against depression. She reveals how her friendships, her love for the natural world and the response of her growing audience of readers helped her to recover.

At Seventy: A Journal
ISBN 0-393-31030-2, W. W. Norton, ©1984 by May Sarton, Paper ©1993
The journal opens on May Sarton's seventieth birthday, May 3, 1982, relishing the discovery that she does not feel old at that age. In her he nearly daily entries she reflects on her experiences living by the sea at "Wild Knoll" in York, Maine, her work, and her friendships.

After the Stroke: A Journal
ISBN 0-393-30630-5, W. W. Norton, ©1988 by May Sarton, Paper ©1989
At age seventy-three May Sarton suffered a stroke that left her unable to write or even to tend her garden for nine months. Her journal is the story of her struggle, fortified by friends, her animals, books, grateful response to her previous work, to return to a full productive life again.

Endgame: A Journal of the Seventy-Ninth Year
ISBN 0-393-31388-3, W. W. Norton, ©1992 by May Sarton, Paper, ©1996
This was an especially difficult year for May Sarton, as debilitating illness deprived her even of the ability to work at her typewriter. However she learned to dictate her journal entries, recording how she learned to become physically dependent, yet remains intellectually independent. Her creativity soars above her frailty.

Encore: A Journal of the Eightieth Year
ISBN 0-393-31317-4, W. W. Norton, ©1993, by May Sarton, Paper ©1995
In this affirmative journal, May Sarton writes of the both the hardships brought on by old age, and the joys she derives from her friends, nature, growing fame, and being able to write again. (In her entry for June 23 she includes a comment about "Duffy", the nickname of Edith Royce Schade, who had brought some photographs from the book-in-progress "From May Sarton's Well" to show her.)

At Eighty-Two: A Journal
ISBN 0-393-31622-X, W. W. Norton, ©1996 by May Sarton, Paper ©1997
This is May Sarton's last journal, finished just a few months before she died on July 16, 1995. In it Sarton continues to adjust to the feeling that she is a stranger in the land of old age. Thought her struggles and daily setbacks continue, there is an optimistic, musing tone as she contemplates this unique time in a person's life.


As We Are Now
ISBN 0-393-08372-1, W. W. Norton, ©1973 by May Sarton, Paper
This is perhaps Sarton's most powerful novel. It resulted in shutting down the nursing home that inspired it. Admirable, endearing and embattled Caro struggles to maintain her humanity in the face of bitterly cruel administrators.

Shadow of a Man: A Novel
ISBN 0-393-30030-7, W. W. Norton, ©1950, 1982 by May Sarton, Paper
Francis Adams Chabrier, grieving for the recent death of his mother, leaves his American home for a summer in his birthplace, Paris, where he grows in spirit and learns to love.

The Fur Person
ISBN 0-393-30131-1, W. W. Norton, ©1957 and 1983 by May Sarton, Paper
The story of Tom Jones is based on the adventure of a beloved cat who shared his home with May Sarton and her friend Judy Matlack . It continues to delight children and adults.

The Poet and the Donkey
ISBN 0-393-30159-1, W. W. Norton, ©1969 and 1984 by May Sarton, Paper
Here is a short, delightful and elegant story about an old poet who had lost his inspiration. A young, mischievous, but lame donkey comes into his life. As he nurses her back to soundness, the poet recaptures his own zest for living.

Joanna and Ulysses
ISBN 0-393-30414-0, W. W. Norton, ©1963 and 1973 by May Sarton, (illustrated by James J. Spanfeller) Paper
Joanna, on holiday on the Greek island of Santorini, rescues a mistreated donkey, Ulysses, and they nourish each other back to spiritual and physical health.

The Bridge of Years
ISBN 0-393-30239-3, W. W. Norton, © 1946 and 1985 by May Sarton, Paper
Sarton's second novel takes place in her country-of-birth, Belgium. She looks at the struggles confronted in complex family relationships during the stormy atmosphere of Europe just after WWI through the beginnings of WWII.

The Birth of a Grandfather
ISBN 0-393-30591-0, W. W. Norton, © 1957 and 1989 by May Sarton, Paper
The novel is set in Cambridge, Massachusetts with summers on a Maine island. It takes the dying of a close friend and the birth of a grandchild for the aging man Sprig to grow into a fully human, loving being. Sarton also explores the deep friendship between two women.

Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
ISBN 0-393-30929-0, ©1965 reissue 1993 by May Sarton, Paper
The poet Hilary Sevens, when interviewed by two young reporters, reflects on her past and the lovers who were sources of her inspiration. In revealing that these muses were women, Sarton was one of the first writers to come out as a Lesbian. The novel is a source of inspiration for all creative people, no matter what their sexual orientation.

A Reckoning
ISBN 0-393-31621-1 , W. W. Norton, © 1978 by May Sarton, Paper 1997
The deep and illuminating novel explores how Laura Spelman faces death from cancer, reexamining her life and her relationships with her family and particularly a woman friend from her youth.

Faithful Are The Wounds
ISBN 0-393-31715-3, W. W. Norton,© 1995 by May Sarton, reissue 1997, Paper
Set in the academic atmosphere of Harvard and Cambridge and based on a real incident, the novel deals with the affects of the suicide of an English professor on those who knew him.

The Small Room
ISBN 0-393-00832-0, W.W. Norton; © 1976 by May Sarton, Paper
This novel about women in academic life, set on the campus of a New England college, examines the precarious relationship between teachers and students.

Anger: A Novel
ISBN 0-393-31389-1, ©1982 by May Sarton, reissue 1996, Paper
Sarton explores the inner landscape of a marriage between two people of very different temperaments and their attitudes about expressing their emotions.

The Single Hound: A Novel
ISBN 0-393-30785-9, W. W. Norton, ©1938 by May Sarton, reissue 1991
In this early novel we see the first flowering of Sarton's special gift to depict sensitive people who find they must brave new pathways if they are to discover their true selves.

Crucial Conversations
ISBN 0-393-31102-3, W.W. Norton, © 1975 by May Sarton, reissued 1994, Paper
Quoting the first edition cover: "Told through a series of vivid personal confrontations, a novel about a woman who explodes out of a suffocating marriage."

The Education of Harriet Hatfield
ISBN 0-393-31029-9 , W.W. Norton, © 1993 by May Sarton, Paper
Harriet Hatfield fulfills a dream by opening a women's bookstore and , bewildered, finds herself both a heroine for many lesbians and a victim of homophobia.

The Magnificent Spinster
ISBN 0-393-31249-6, W.W. Norton, ©1985 by May Sarton, reissue 1995
This is a fictional tribute to a beloved teacher and friend of May Sarton. She explores the life and deep friendships of a magnificent human being.

A Shower of Summer Days
ISBN 0-393-31250-X , W.W. Norton, © by May Sarton, reissue 1995
A stately house in Ireland, Dene Court, is central to this novel that deals with the human history of the place as it influences the relationships of those who spend a summer together there.

Kinds of Love
ISBN 0-393-3 1101-5, W.W. Norton, © by May Sarton, reissue 1994, Paper
This novel is a study of a New England village, the people in it and a celebration of how old people can continue to be open and grow in relationships with others and the world around them.

May Sarton: Among the Usual Days is a treasure trove of Sarton's unpublished writing, carefully selected by longtime friend Susan Sherman from almost seventy years of correspondence and journals stored in the New York Public Library's Berg Collection, in May Sarton's own files, and in other archives. Thematically arranged, these passages reflect the seasons of her flowering as writer, teacher, daughter, lover, friend, and fiercely independent thinker.
Lavishly illustrated with previously unpublished photos of Sarton and her closest companions from infancy to the present, in May Sarton: Among the Usual Days all of the abiding themes of her craft recur and expand: her respect for poetic form, hunger for love, appreciation for the centrality of solitude, commitment to enduring friendship, unabashed relish for the natural world in all its aspects, and zeal in pursuit of honesty above all, no matter what the cost.

May Sarton Selected Letters: 1916-1954
ISBN 0-393-03954-4 W. W. Norton, ©1997 Edited and Introduced by Susan Sherman
Appearing in book form for the first time, this treasure trove of letters illuminates the life of the beloved poet/writer from early childhood into middle age.
All her life, May Sarton carried on a voluminous private correspondence with family, friends, and lovers. From the beginning, as these remarkable letters show, the essence of an extraordinary human being was present.
As Sarton divides her time between America and Europe, in an era when ocean voyages were the norm, illustrious acquaintances and intimates are introduced. Always, Sarton's voice is clear and courageous, startlingly candid about her passions, her moods, and her vulnerabilities. Her words, seeming as fresh as when they were written, stand against the backdrop of the crucial events of the century as she invites old and new readers into her personal world.

Dear Juliette: Letters of May Sarton to Juliette Huxley
ISBN 0-393-04733-4 W. W. Norton, ©1999 Selected, Edited and Introduced by Susan Sherman Foreword by Francis Huxley, Drafts of Introductions by May Sarton
May Sarton's love for Juliette Huxley, ignited that first moment she saw her in 1936, transcended sixty years of friendship, passion, silence, and reconciliation. In the extraordinary breadth and variation of these letters, we see Sarton in all her complexities and are privy to the nuances of her rich amitié amoureuse with Juliette, the preeminent muse and most enduring love of her life.
The letters chart their meeting; May's affair with Juliette's husband, Julian (brother of Aldous Huxley), before the war; her intense involvement with Juliette after the war; and the ardent and life-enhancing friendship that endured between them until Juliette's death. While May's intimate relationship with Julian had not been a secret, her more powerful emotions for Juliette had.

May Sarton: Selected Letters 1955-1995
At Fifteen: A Journal
Catching Beauty: The Earliest Poems 1924-1929

About Susan Sherman
In addition to the above three volumes, Susan Sherman, a close friend of May Sarton's during the late years and the official editor of her letters, is also editor of two chap books, Forward into the Past, a festscrift honoring Sarton's eightieth birthday, and To Bid Us Still Rejoice, a selection of Sarton's unpublished poems. Having taught English for 27 years, Sherman is now at work full time on future volumes of the letters and other Sarton projects.


Writings on Writing:
ISBN 0-213006-20-3, Puckerbrush Press, ©May Sarton, 1980, Paper (This may be ordered from Puckerbrush Press, 76 Main Street, Orono, ME 04473, Phone (207) 866-4868 or (207) 581-3832.)
Here is a collection of five essays on the art and craft of writing by May Sarton. They are entitled: "The School of Babylon", "The Design of a Novel", "The Writing of a Poem", "Revision As Creation" and "On Growth and Change". This may be ordered from Puckerbrush Press,76 Main Street,Orono ME 04473


Sarton Selected: An Anthology of the Journals, Novels, and Poetry of May Sarton, Edited and with an Introduction by Bradford Dudley Daziel
ISBN 0-393-02968-9 © 1991 by May Sarton and Bradford Dudley Daziel.
The best of her poetry and excerpts from journals and novels, including the entire As We Are Now, are gathered in this book.


A Celebration For May Sarton: Essays:
ISBN 0-913006-53-X, © 1994, Puckerbrush Press, Paper Selected and edited by Constance Hunting
(This may be ordered from Puckerbrush Press, 76 Main Street, Orono, ME 04473, Phone (207) 866-4868, or (207) 581-3832.)
This contains Essays and Speeches from the National Conference "May Sarton at 80: A Celebration of Her Life and Work" held at Westbrook College, Portland, Maine, June 11-13, 1992. Contributors include Bradford Dudley Daziel, editor of Sarton Selected: An Anthology of the Journals, Novels, and Poetry of May Sarton: Catherine Emanuel, whose work on May Sarton has appeared in A House of Poets: Poets on May Sarton's Poetry, and Puckerbrush Review; Sandra Gilbert, coeditor of No Man's Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century; Carolyn Heilbrun, author of Writing a Woman's Life; Earl Ingersoll, editor of Conversations with May Sarton; and many others including David Bradt, Charlotte Mandel, Phyllis Mannocchi, Stephen Robitaille, Maurya Simon.This may be ordered from Puckerbrush Press, 76 Main Street,Orono ME 04473

Understanding May Sarton
ISBN 1-57003-422-2 ©2001 University of South Carolina, University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina 29208 by Mark K. Fulk, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli
Mark K. Fulk, assistant professor of English and theater arts at John Brown Universtity, provides a comprehensive study of the poetry, fiction and memoirs of May Sarton.