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To The Boathouse, To The Boathouse, 0817314253, 0-8173-1425-3, 978-0-8173-1425-5, 9780817314255, , , To The Boathouse, 0817354964, 0-8173-5496-4, 978-0-8173-5496-1, 9780817354961,

To The Boathouse
A Memoir
by Mary Ann Caws

Hardcover
2004. 224 pp.
Illus.
978-0-8173-1425-5
Price:  $30.00 s
Quality Paper
2008. 224 pp.
978-0-8173-5496-1
Price:  $21.95 t


To the Boathouse is the memoir of a southern girl and her maturing sense of self as she grows to become one of the most prolific and accomplished writers and critics of our day. Mary Ann Caws recounts the tangled relationships of her family, and her own ties to her sister, parents, and the grandmother—a painter—who served as her role model for a life of passionate engagement.

The southern landscape plays a central role in her early life in North Carolina, where she makes her debut and begins to struggle with accepted social values of the time and region. Caws sketches her educational experiences at Bryn Mawr, in Paris, and at Yale—where she weds a professor of philosophy. She recounts the joys, small and large, of a complicated marriage that ends in divorce, after which she strives toward self-sufficiency and self-understanding. Caws relates her passion for writing, teaching, art, and poetry; her friendships with the writers, artists, and intellectuals who provided sanctuary for her mind and heart; and the many light-filled summers spent with her children at their field house in Provence.

The author returns to visit the tangled vines of the southern landscape and her hometown and dwells on the steadying influence in her life of a singular place: the boathouse in New York's Central Park where for most of her adulthood she has retreated for peace and solace and where, finally, she and her children row out on the water to toast their lives, their city, and their sense of home.

"The southern family, the lush landscape, the memories of food (including recipes!), the complicated social obligations, complex relationships, and various houses where the family gathers are all the ingredients for a very compelling childhood memory."

—Ladette Randolph, author of "This is not the Tropics"

Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature in the Graduate School of City University of New York. She has held Guggenheim, Rockefeller, N.E.H., and Getty Foundation fellowships and is the author of many works of scholarship, including Picasso's Weeping Woman: The Life and Work of Dora Maar, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf.


Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature in the Graduate School of City University of New York. She has held Guggenheim, Rockefeller, N.E.H., and Getty Foundation fellowships and is the author of many works of scholarship, including Picasso's Weeping Woman: The Life and Work of Dora Maar, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf.

"A southern female contemporary version of The Education of Henry Adams. . . . The author lets us inside the narrator: we see a complex and sympathetic woman. . . . I especially admired every passage dealing with food and intellectual issues."--Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife and Four Spirits

"The southern family, the lush landscape, the memories of food (including recipes!), the complicated social obligations, complex relationships, and various houses where the family gathers are all the ingredients for a very compelling childhood memory."--Ladette Randolph, author of This is not the Tropics

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