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Born in Philadelphia, writer and painter Mary Meigs wrote her first novel, Lily Briscoe: A Self-Portrait, at the age of 60. For the next two decades, Meigs chronicled her extraordinary life as a writer, a painter, an actress, a social activist and a lesbian feminist. Riding on the success of her six-novel series that plays lightly with the barriers of life and art, Meigs has become a beloved fixture of Canadian literature. In 1988, Meigs played herself in the critically acclaimed film The Company of Strangers, which resulted in the publication of In the Company of Strangers (1991), a fascinating work documenting her experience during the production of the film. Mary Meigs died in 2002 at the age of 85, shortly before the completion of Beyond Recall.
BOOK AWARDSBeyond Recall
Finalist for the 2006 Lambda Literary Award
BOOK AWARDSIn the Company of Strangers
QSPELL Award Winner for Non-fiction, 1992”
QUOTES OF NOTEBeyond Recall
“ Beyond Recall … is a beautiful, whimsical and detailed description of the last two years of Meigs’ life. It also documents a woman’s life after 80—a virtually unexplored territory. What sticks in Meigs’ mind as chronicled here is both visual and visceral.”
“ Beyond Recall provides an eloquent coda to Meigs’ literary ouevre …”
— Canadian Literature
“Lise Weil compiled and edited all of [Meigs’s] creative output into an elegant book so that the rest of us could have one last encounter with a remarkable writer.”
“While [Mary Meigs’s] body is palpably slowing down, her mind is very much alive, as evinced in her wit … She is capable of word games and of creating a humorous dialogue between her fallible mind and index finger. However, her real strengths are virtues of drama, colour (a painter’s mother tongue), and passion that are distilled in succinct images. Creativity trumps gerontology in her case.”
— Globe and Mail”
QUOTES OF NOTEIn the Company of Strangers
Her book on the film is exquisitely attuned to the interplay between art and life.
— Boston Globe
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Medusa Head
An unsparing account of love, jealousy and hate.
— Toronto Star
Shaped with intelligence, honesty and humour.
— Ottawa Citizen
QUOTES OF NOTELily Briscoe
A series of landscapes and life drawings, skillfully created.
— Humanities and Applied Arts
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.