The southern landscape forms a lush backdrop in this memoir by Mary Ann Caws in which she recounts a life of passionate engagement. She sketches her early years in North Carolina, where she makes her debut and begins to struggle with accepted social values of the time and region. She recounts the tangled relationships of her family and her ties to her sister, parents, and the grandmother - a painter - who served as her role model.Caws describes her education at Bryn Mawr, in Paris, and at Yale - where she weds a professor of philosophy. She details the joys, small and large, of a complicated marriage that ends in divorce, after which she strives toward self-sufficiency and self-understanding. Finally, Caws relates her deep 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.""To the Boathouse"" is the account 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 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 Picasso's Weeping Woman: The Life and Art of Dora Maar, Marcel Proust, Surprised in Translation and Virginia Woolf.