"Writing is a strong easement for perplexity. My whole life is spread out like a map with all the rivers and hills showing." Emily Carr recorded that reflection in her journal in the last decade of her long and productive creative life. Though her paintings have received the most attention, Carr was also a prolific and successful writer, producing seven books, one of which won the Governor General's Award for Literature in 1941. The Complete Writings of Emily Carr brings together all of this work, in over 850 pages of keen observation and earthy, unadorned prose. Though her style may seem artless, Carr was quite deliberate in crafting the vignettes and random-seeming reflections that, for the most part, make up her books: "I did not know book rules," she writes in her autobiography, Growing Pains, "I made two for myself. They were about the same as I used in painting--Get to the point as directly as you can; never use a big word if a little one will do." The Complete Writings includes the three volumes Carr published in her lifetime: the award-winning Klee Wyck, a collection of stories about the West Coast Native people who befriended and inspired her; The Book of Small, a recollection of her childhood in Victoria; and The House of All Sorts an account of Carr's experiences as a landlady in the 1930s. Also included are four posthumously published works: Growing Pains, The Heart of a Peacock, Pause: A Sketchbook, and Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of an Artist.
Edited by Doris Shadbolt (also author of the authoritative The Art of Emily Carr), The Complete Writings of Emily Carr offers an expansive autobiographical portrait of a perceptive, persistent, often contrary and cantankerous personality. Carr's connection to the environment and Native culture and her struggles as a woman artist make her work as relevant and inspiring today as ever. --Russell Prather [via]