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Sarah Bastard's Notebook (Insomniac Library)

3.21  ·  Rating Details ·  19 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
The Insomniac Library is proud to republish for the first time in over twenty years Marian Engel's memorable first novel, Sarah Bastard's Notebook. First published in 1968 by Longman Canada, the novel tells the funny and frustrating story of thirty-year-old ex-academic Sarah Porlock as she makes her way through the minefields of career and love in late-1960s Toronto.Long r ...more
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Published May 22nd 2006 by Insomniac Press (first published 1968)
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Jennifer (aka EM)
Feb 10, 2013 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it liked it
Shelves: maple-flavoured
Marian Engel stands at the birthing point between old (i.e., WASPy, Victorian/Brit-influenced) and new CanLit, a crossroads that leads in a straight line from MacLennan and Mowat, to Laurence, Atwood, Findley, Munro, Ondaatje, Shields, Gowdy, Ann-Marie MacDonald, more and more.

This - her first novel - can, I think without too much authorial heresy, be read as a documentary of the difficulty of that birth: not just as a new contemporary literary tradition was born, but because (not to stretch th
...more
Shane
Dec 01, 2012 Shane rated it liked it
To attempt to comment on this novel written in the ‘60’s by a revered Canadian feminist is bound to get a guy in trouble. I noticed that there were no other Goodreads reviews for this book even though its star ratings ranged from 4 – 1. Perhaps no one wants to risk controversy. So let me step out boldly, or foolishly; to observe objectively, or “put my foot in it,” as they say.

Sarah Porlock (re-christened Bastard by herself,) is a confused academic who looks down on all things Canadian: its citi
...more
T.
Jul 31, 2012 T. marked it as to-read
Shelves: fiction, contemporary
"I have had, now, time to recover; a smooth week in the womb." Bought purely for this sentence. I am currently recovering from something even I cannot name, and so maybe one of these days I would read this...and find what? Redemption? Convalescence?

Ah, do not mind me. My head is not in the right place, and it is raining.

/ 31 July 2012
Meredith Tanner
Oct 04, 2013 Meredith Tanner rated it really liked it
Rereading... revisiting a book I read when I was a teenager. It's a whole new book at 43. Seriously under-appreciated Canadian author.
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Canadian novelist, short-story and children's fiction writer, Marian Engel was a passionate activist for the national and international writer’s cause.

She was the first chair of the Writer’s Union of Canada (1973–74) and helped found the Public Lending Right Commission. From 1975-1977, she served on the City of Toronto Book Award Committee (an award she won in 1981 for Lunatic Villas) and the Can
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“Remember that it is not enough to have everything around you beautiful, remember that there must also be change and flux, because it is through change that we pretend that we can make decisions, and keep our pride, and go on pretending that both change and choice exist.” 3 likes
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