ENDGAME: A Journal of the Seventy-Ninth Year by May Sarton

ENDGAME: A Journal of the Seventy-Ninth Year

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sarton resumes the litany of woes she began in Recovering (1980) and continued in At Seventy (1984) and After the Stroke (1988). This new installment, like the earlier ones, is packed with tales of depression, dyspepsia, wearisome diets, and wobbly dentures, among other tribulations. In addition to these Job-like entries, Sarton includes in this yearlong journal comments on such familiar topics as her garden, the harshness of Maine winters, and her past lesbian love affairs; she settles some old literary scores as well (John Ciardi comes in for a bit of bashing here). Self-congratulation permeates the pages: References to Sarton's ""fans"" appear frequently, joined by such boasts as, ""I don't think there are many writers--serious writers--who make as much money as I do."" If this journal was not so obviously intended for publication but was in fact merely a kind of personal diary, the inclusion of many of the details recorded would be far more explicable. As it is, even the most devoted of Sarton's admirers are unlikely to find the fact that the author ate ""mussels and delicious, chopped-up fresh spinach"" on March 11, 1991, of enormous interest. When she turns her gaze outward, though, Sarton is far more interesting. She draws a gracious if inconclusive portrait of Virginia Woolf, with whom she often had tea in the late 1930's, and she reminisces about Lord David Cecil in several anecdotes that celebrate his erudition and eccentricity. Overall, far too garrulous and far, far too querulous.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0393313883
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Norton