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Mary Oliver: A Life (VMC) Paperback – 14 Apr 1980

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Paperback, 14 Apr 1980
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (14 April 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 086068105X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860681052
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 975,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A multi-levelled, absorbing, fiercely passionate story from a wonderfully gifted writer. (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)

About the Author

Born in Liverpool in 1863, May Sinclair had no formal education until the age of 18. She worked with Cicely Hamilton and Violet Hunt for the Suffragist cause and wrote a total of 24 novels in addition to philosophical works, poetry and criticism. She died in 1932.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luca Nieddu on 14 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to buy this book because of a class in literature and I was amazed by it. It is good, well maybe I enjoyed best because of what teacher said to us about May Sinclair but I's a book everyone need to read at least one time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A superb (if flawed) modernist Bildungsroman 5 July 2002
By Jay Dickson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
MARY OLIVIER: A LIFE came out serialized in the same issues of THE LITTLE REVIEW as James Joyce's ULYSSES, and has never received its proper due for its achievement. part of this may also stem that it was written ten to fifteen years after the great spate of Edwardian parricidal Bildungsromans, which include Joyce's PORTRAIT, Lawrence's SONS AND LOVERS, Maugham's OF HUMAN BONDAGE, Bennett's CLAYHANGER and Butler's THE WAY OF ALL FLESH. Yet MARY OLIVIER deserves at the very least to be in such fine company. May Sinclair herself coined the term "stream-of-consciousness" to describe the technique of Dorothy Richardson, and she uses this technique herself here in recounting the life of a young woman from the Victorian Sixties to late middle age. The results are astonishing: it may remind you a bit of Joyce's PORTRAIT, and a bit of Katherine Mansfield's Burnell Family stories, but it's also like neither of them. Mary and her brothers must revolt against their father's jealous possessiveness of his wife and their mother's sweet manipulations and doctrinaire piety, but they can never bring themselves to fully hate them. they realize that their parents are also actual people, flawed and yearning to love, and Sinclair outstrips many other writers of Bildungsromans by giving the parents their due. The last third of the book (after the father dies) is a bit tedious, but the novel is a real triumph, especially in its presentation of the way children think about their parents, the world around them, and even philosophical matters.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Edwardian Theatre 2 Aug. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
May Sinclairs novel is a subtle and quite devastating disection of a females life in the Victorian era. Stifled by a rigid sense of what it is important for a girl to aspire to, the sensitve and independent character of Mary Olivier strives to find her own answers to lifes mysteries. She cannot ask anyone about literature, Arts or the more (for her) burning philosophical questions of meaning and substance. When she does she is early on taken to task by the very men she assumed would assist her. This is the key to the subtlety of the dialogue between Mary and her male friends.Considerable time is also taken up with Mary's relationship with her family members. This a satisfying book and the reader will be richly rewarded in following the life of Mary Olivier.
Four Stars 11 Aug. 2014
By quiltgoddess1 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can see through her eyes
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