I Knew a Phoenix: Sketches for an Autobiography

by May Sarton

Hardcover, 1959




New York, W. W. Norton [1969, c1959]


May Sarton's first memoir: A lyrical and enchanting look at her formative years from the onset of the First World War through the beginning of the Second Author of a dozen memoirs, May Sarton had a unique talent for capturing the wonder and beauty of nature, love, aging, and art. Throughout her prolific career, she penned many journals examining the different stages of her life, and in this, her first memoir, she laid the foundation for what would become one of the most beloved autobiographical oeuvres in modern literature. Sarton writes of her early childhood in Belgium in the years before World War I, her time in Boston while her father taught at Harvard, and her schooling in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she fell in love with poetry and theater. She describes her first meetings and fast friendships with such notable figures as Virginia Woolf, Julian Huxley, James Stephens, and S. S. Koteliansky, many of whom would later come to populate her critically acclaimed journals. With sharp insights and captivating prose, I Knew a Phoenix introduces a generation of readers to one of the twentieth century's most cherished writers.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member christinejoseph
JL of growing up

Sarton's memoir begins with her roots in a Belgian childhood and describes her youth and education in Cambridge, Massachusetts, her coming-of-age years, and the people who influenced her life as a writer.


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