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Klee Wyck

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  544 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Douglas & McIntyre is proud to announce definitive, completely redesigned editions of Emily Carr’s seven enduring classic books. These are beautifully crafted keepsake editions of the literary world of Emily Carr, each with an introduction by a distinguished Canadian writer or authority on Emily Carr and her work.

Emily Carr’s first book, published in 1941, was titled K
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published March 11th 2004 by Douglas & McIntyre (first published 1941)
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Feb 04, 2012 Shomeret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews, memoir
I had considered reading The Forest Lover,which is a novel about Emily Carr by Susan Vreeland as my Canada book for Around The World in 52 books, but I'm glad I didn't settle for Emily Carr at second hand. She writes lovely prose.

Here is my favorite quote from this book:

"Down deep we all hug something. The great forest hugs its silence. The sea and the air hug the spilled cries of sea birds."

Emily Carr traveled to various Canadian First Peoples villages to sketch their totem poles and other car
Jan 17, 2015 Clarissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
4.5 stars

This little book took me completely by surprise and in no way did I expect to love and enjoy it as much as I did.

Emily Carr is known primarily in Canada as an artist whose paintings often come quickly to mind when one thinks of "Canadian Art", and yet her talent shines just as brightly in her written work. There's just this calming quality to her prose as she is able to perfectly encapsulate the beauty and wildness of the Canadian landscape making you feel transported to the West Coas
Daniel Kukwa
Oct 24, 2016 Daniel Kukwa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Time hasn't been very kind to this work. It's honest in its appreciation of aboriginal culture on Canada's west coast, but it's sensibilities and its labels stretch across a spectrum that starts with naive, intersects with patronizing, and ends with distasteful. Its poetic language aside, it's a glimpse of an aboriginal population at its lowest ebb: beaten down by useless Indian agents, genocidal residential schools, racist government neglect, and extreme poverty. How much has actually changed i ...more
In this small book, basically a set of vignettes, Emily Carr writes about her travels in the wilderness of British Columbia and her relationships with the Indians. There is very little about her paintings, but we learn a lot about her courage and her compassion.
I knew she could paint, but I had no idea that Emily Carr could write like this. I might be developing a bit of a historical crush lol
Susan Beecher
Oct 21, 2015 Susan Beecher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vignettes from Emily Carr's life in British Columbia in the early part of the 1900s among the native Americans there. Very fine. Highly recommend.
Corey Scholefield
A wonderful portrait of the BC coast, and Emily Carr's travels there. Richly woven text, a really beautiful read. A must-read for BC-coast history enthusiasts.
Jan 28, 2014 Harperac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
This book was astonishingly good. Although this book has apparently never been out of print, it doesn't really get talked about either. I think that's partly prejudice against it's autobiographical nature, and also people seeing Carr's writing as just a sideshow to her painting - painting which is, admittedly, way better and profounder and more important. However, no one should miss this wonderful little book.

There are two tones which show up an awful lot in Klee Wyck - one is the quiet, reveren

I did not write Klee Wyck, as the reviewers said, long ago when I went to the West Coast Villages painting. I was too busy then painting from dawn till dusk. I wrote Klee hospital. They said I would not be able to go about painting here and there any more, lugging and tramping. I was sore about it, so, as I lay there, I relived the villages of Klee Wyck. It was easy for my mind to go back to the lovely places. After fifty years they were as fresh in my mind as they were then, b

Susan Eubank
"There was no soil to be seen. Above the beach it was all luxuriant growth; the earth was so full of vitality that every seed which blew across her surface germinated and burst. The growing things jumbled themselves together into a dense thicket; so tensely earnest were things about growing in Skedans that everything linked with everything else, hurrying to grow to the limit of its own capacity; weeds and weaklings alike throve in the rich moistness." p. 49-50.
"When night came we cuddled into ou
Dec 05, 2008 Carole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading The Forest Lover and visiting the Emily Carr house in Victoria I was really excited to read one of the books she had actually written about her life. This was about her visits to various Indian Villages on Vancouver Island and also in the Queen Charlotte Islands. This was her first published book and was published just a few years before she died in the early 1940s. What I thought was interesting and disturbing was that in 1950 the publishers decided to publish a new edition that w ...more
Jul 05, 2011 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was first published in 1941 and was the first book published by noted Canadian West Coast artist, Emily Carr. Towards the end of her life, Emily Carr was finding it more difficult to travel and paint and started to edit the notes and stories she had written all her life so that they could be published. When a version of Klee Wyck was published for schools in the 1950s, some stories and some sections of the text were omitted. These were held to be counter to the prevailing political opi ...more
Apr 01, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, canadian
Emily Carr was not only a well-known painter (she is known for painting totems and other scenes from First Nations people) but an excellent writer too. This book was given to me by a dear friend and I'm so glad. It's a series of small sketches and stories that describe the author's various trips to remote places in the Canadian wilderness to sketch native people and places. Carr has much respect for the First Nation people she meets, and a decided lack of respect for missionaries and others who ...more
Jun 25, 2015 Dylan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, non-fiction
This is a book written by an artist. It's organized rather like a collection of paintings; there are small scenes and bigger ones, all consistent with each other in theme and tone but arranged in a non-linear order, like a gallery showcase. The stories are full of striking and evocative imagery, and some bold (for its time) social commentary. Personally, I don't much care for imagery. In fact, everything about Klee Wyck disposes me not to like it, from the total lack of a concrete sense of time ...more
Wendy Feltham
Jun 25, 2013 Wendy Feltham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of Emily Carr's paintings, Klee Wyck was a revelation. I loved these 21 short (some very short) stories, and they are a perfect companion to her remarkable paintings. The images in Klee Wyck of coastal British Columbia with its totem poles, forests, kelp beds, and Carr's stories of nasty, bungling missionaries and proud, reserved Indians enhance the mystery and depth of her paintings. I was surprised to read that she became famous first as a writer and only later as a painter. I on ...more
Dec 02, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book makes me want to travel to all the old native villages to learn more about them and to see the totem poles myself. Carr was a brave young woman to get herself into some of the situations she did. I also admire her for speaking her mind when anyone asked her to use her influence in the native community to persuade them to do things like send their children to residential schools, etc.

I think what I liked most about this auto-biography is that Carr doesn't seem to try too hard to hide he
May 28, 2012 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't realized Emily Carr was a writer as well as an artist. She lived in Victoria BC in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Emily painted and struggled to support herself by running a boarding house for many years. She achieved considerable recognition only quite late in life. She is well known for her paintings of the Northwest Coast forests, Indian villages and totem poles. Thls little book of word sketches is about the Indians of Vancouver Island and their way of life that wa ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Living in Victoria B.C., Emily's fascination with the native culture of the area, specifically the Haida, is clearly celebrated in her clever and humorous tales as she moves about their lands to study and draw their totem poles. Her listless, respectful and resourceful accounts of life amongst the tribal villages is set eminent. Her love for their totem poles and the stories surround them had her working hard to try and gain the relationships she needed to help her gain access to what she was st ...more
Felicia Tarantino
Jan 18, 2017 Felicia Tarantino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
I was assigned this short novel, a collection of short stories by the famous painter and writer Emily Carr in my first year English: Longer Genres course. I found it very interesting and I was particularly impressed by the vivid detail of Emily's writing which really made me feel like I was along the journey with her. Additionally, I found that her writing really puts things into perspective. Despite learning about Indigenous communities and history here and there throughout my many years of sch ...more
May 22, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
I had mixed feelings about this book. It is beautifully written. Carr is an interesting person and unconventional for her time period. It's clear that she had some respect for First Nations people and their struggle to maintain their cultural traditions and way of life in the face of the overwhelming oppression of settler culture and the missionaries. But there were times reading this that I was uncomfortable. That I felt she presented the native people in her life as less than. I'd like to be c ...more
Apr 04, 2014 Pammie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emily Carr's paintings of Vancouver Island are wild and colorful. She captured the totem poles of the First Nation's people before they could be lost to time and the elements, as they and the native ways were being abandoned during Emily's lifetime. These essays are gorgeous and spare. Her descriptions of the island, the people, and her relationship to life on Vancouver Island are remarkable. She portrays the sad lives she sees with such compassion, and isn't afraid to criticize the missionaries ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give this 5 stars not because of literary merit but b/c it's so real, moment by moment just how things and people were, especially the Indians and how they were and their conditions. Wonderful descriptions of the land, the water, the boats. Especially loved her adventures, she would take off alone (except for her little dog) with anyone who would take her to see the totems. When she had to go below in that little boat and sleep in a "bed" the size of a coffin....yikes...I could hardly stand it ...more
Nov 03, 2014 Errin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these little gems of Emily Carr's writing! The lovely thing about this book is that it allows a peek in to the mind's eye of a truly talented and inspired artist. Love the fact that she was a fiercely strong woman of independence, travelling up and down the coast of BC for the sake of making her art in a time when women were doing no such thing. Her respect for indigenous cultures in BC allowed her to move within those communities and capture the beauty of the totems before they were lost ...more
Feb 03, 2011 Enikő rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wondnderful read! Carr offers us a window into her experiences as a young painter in search of totem poles to paint along the British Columbian coast. It is amazing how she can spin a story out of a few everyday events and write it down so simply. Equally amazing are her descriptions of the totem poles and how she personifies them. She literally paints them with words. I wish I could write like that.

I must add that this book was purchased on a gift card I received from a student. Merci beaucou
Mar 09, 2014 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming. I feel for totem poles and for Emily Carr when we spent a few weeks on Vancouver Island. These sketches of Emily Carr's trips to sketch the totem poles on the Queen Charlotte Islands are quite amazing given that it was first published in 1941 and describes an earlier time. She was an extremely intrepid women so unprejudiced and so willing to follow her passion through extremely uncomfortable canoe rides, wet nights and lonely, haunted spots. Only wish it had the illustrations of the To ...more
May 25, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked Klee Wyck very much ... maybe not so much its difficult title. Simple unpretentious prose, yet advanced by the painter's attentive eye to detail. Short stories sometimes tell grand things.

I had not known that Emily Carr also wrote, and more, that she even got the prestigious GG literary award for this book (deservingly so). Now I do know. I also learned about the West Coast Indians and their life - as it was back then @ the beginning of the 20th Century. Not bad at all, considering that
Nobuko Sera
Feb 27, 2014 Nobuko Sera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple vignettes of Emily carr's encounters with the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest published 1941 a few years before her death. Beautifully written, sparse and clear. Her love of the people and land shine through. Original edition edited to remove 2300 words which were uncomplimentary of those in authority i. e. government and missionaries thought to be unsuitable for school children. The full version was not published again until 50 years later.
Manda Keeton
Written in minimal but poetic prose, Carr recounts her adventures painting the totem poles in Indian villages alongside the West Coast of British Colombia. She captures the cultural richness of the first natives before white rationalism sought to kill the mysticism of the tribes. Carr writes honorably and empathetically about perceptions of life and death in the villages and the kindness and oddities she experiences as she worked.
Nov 13, 2010 Marge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having just returned from British Columbia, where I visited the wonderful museum of Victoria which is full of totem poles and photos of people living the way Carr describes the First Nations people living, I was very struck by this book, which I found inexpressibly sad and beautiful. Carr comes through here as gutsy and sensitive and aware of the passing of the culture she struggles to describe both in words and through her paintings.
Oct 10, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another B&B find. From the age of fifteen, Carr was obsessed with painting the rapidly vanishing totem poles of the Northwest Coast Native Americans. This book of short verbal sketches revisits some of her adventures and interactions with the remnants of the tribes who once inhabited the coast. Her essays/sketches were written long before Native Americans were recognized as posessing a complex culture of their own plus a legitimate world view.
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Emily Carr (December 13, 1871 – March 2, 1945) was a Canadian artist and writer heavily inspired by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. One of the first painters in Canada to adopt a post-impressionist painting style, Carr did not receive widespread recognition for her work until later in her life. As she matured, the subject matter of her painting shifted from aboriginal themes ...more
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“Indians do not hinder the progress of their dead by embalming or tight coffining. When the spirit has gone they give the body back to the earth. the earth welcomes the body-coaxes new life and beauty from it, hurries over what men shudder at. Lovely tender herbage bursts from the graves, swiftly, exulting over corruption.” 10 likes
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