May Sarton’s parrot chatters away as Sarton looks out the window at the rain and contemplates returning to her “real” life—not friends, not even love, but writing. In her bravest and most revealing memoir, Sarton casts her keenly observant eye on both the interior and exterior worlds. She shares insights about everyday life in the quiet New Hampshire village of Nelson, the desire for friends, and need for solitude—both an exhilarating and terrifying state. She likens writing to “cracking open the inner world again,” which sometimes plunges her into depression. She confesses her fears, her disappointments, her unresolved angers. Sarton’s garden is her great, abiding joy, sustaining her through seasons of psychic and emotional pain.
Journal of a Solitude is a moving and profound meditation on creativity, oneness with nature, and the courage it takes to be alone. Both uplifting and cathartic, it sweeps us along on Sarton’s pilgrimage inward.