AT SEVENTY: A Journal by May Sarton


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In her latest journal, poet/novelist/essayist Sarton chronicles the year from her seventieth birthday on May 3, 1982--now conscious of her age, and open about her homosexuality. Having fought through depression (Recovering, 1980), she lives ""more completely in the moment."" She ponders how to balance creative work, the obligations of friendship, and professional responsibilities--like lecturings, book-signings, the towering mass of correspondence. Life comes ""in wild bunches""; and company, even when desired, ""dispersed my center."" She touches from time to time on love between women (her lover, mentally incompetent and institutionalized, dies at Christmastime); she recalls her ""anxiety, self-doubt and trauma,"" and in speaking out seeks to make ""depressed people feel a little safer, more able to accept and honor their own lives."" (But not for her ""gay society""--better to build bridges.) There are brief ruminations, too, on the poisoned wellsprings of anger, cruelty, and hatred. But for the most part, the new journal, like its predecessors, is an illustrated seismograph of Sarton's state-of-being--where she was, whom she visited with, how she coped. So we hear of flowers and pets, excursions and peaceful sit-ins, foods aplenty (most septagenarians will envy her digestion!), old friends and professional acquaintances. ""My life at the moment is a little like a game of solitaire that is coming out. Things fall into place."" Stylistic nuggets like that are rare, however--this will mainly make its way on the enthusiasm of a faithful following.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1984
Publisher: Norton