"The price of life is pain, since the price of comfort is damnation."
Sensuously beautiful, intensely passionate, generous to a fault — and one of the century's most brilliant writers of poetic prose — Elizabeth Smart carved her own destiny through sheer determination, strength and perserverance. In By Heart, the first biography of Smart, Rosemary Sullivan recounts the author's childhood in Ottawa as the second daughter of an affluent and well-connected family. Inspired by romantic notions of rebellion, Smart rejected what she perceived to be a colonistic literary community and entered a long period of self-imposed exile, desperate to escape family and country, and willing to sacrifice both wealth and propriety in favour of freedom.
During her frequent trips to Europe, New York, California and Mexico, Smart came to know many of the important writers of the day, including W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood and Lawrence Durrell. While browsing in a London bookstore, she discovered the poetry of George Barker and instantly fell in love with the married poet. They met. Thus began one of the most intense, extraordinary and scandalous love affairs of our time.
Their passionate and troubled relationship inspired Smart's By Grand Central Station, I Sat Down and Wept, which critic Brigid Bronphy has called one of the world's half dozen masterpieces of poetic prose. Partly because of the difficulties in single-handedly raising the four children she had with George Barker, and partly because of her own lack of confidence, it would be thirty-two years before Smart published a second novel.
By Heart explores the career of a woman writer in the 1940s: the struggle to speak when silence is seductive, the battle against a profound sense of inadequacy, the release and elation that comes out of the pain of writing. The life of Elizabeth Smart is a story of extremes, of life as the supreme fiction. As Smart asks in her final journals, "Can I be contented with my lot? Well, I danced."
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Biographer and poet ROSEMARY SULLIVAN is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. Her fourteen books include the critically acclaimed Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape and a House in Marseille and Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion and Romantic Obsession. Shadow Maker, her biography of Gwendolyn MacEwen, won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction. Her most recent book, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, has won numerous awards, including the RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction. Sullivan has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Trudeau, and Jackman Fellowships and was awarded the Lorne Pierce Medal by the Royal Society for her contributions to Literature and Culture. In 2012 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1992. Book Condition: Good. First Thus. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP9648952
Book Description Penguin Canada. Paperback. Book Condition: GOOD. Gently used may contain ex-library markings, possibly has some minor highlighting, textual notations, and or underlining. Text is still easily readable. Bookseller Inventory # 2749684615
Book Description Penguin Canada. Paperback. Book Condition: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Bookseller Inventory # 2749610975
Book Description Penguin Canada. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2757890277
Book Description Penguin Canada. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0140118209I3N00
Book Description Penguin Canada. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0140118209I5N00
Book Description Penguin Books Canada, Limited, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1992. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. First Printing. The book is inscribed and signed by the author on the full title page. The book is very good with light edge wear and a reading crease down spine on front cover. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 011837