(From the publisher):
May Sarton's ninth novel explores a woman's struggle to reconcile the claims of life and art, to transmute passion and pain into poetry. As it opens, Hilary Stevens, a renowned poet in her seventies, is talking with Mar, a young man who has sought her out and whose passionate despair reminds her of herself when young. Mar has had an unhappy love affair with a man. Bewildered by both his sexuality and his writing talent, he flings his anguish agains Hilary's brusque, sympathetic intelligence.
The next event in this emotionally charged day is the arrival of a team of interviewers sent by a leading literary periodical to search out the reasons and mysteries behind the poet's creative work. In her efforts to answer the questions put to her, Hilary Stevens retraces her past, seeking the link between encounters with the muse, those passionate attachments to women who ignited her imagination, and her own epiphanies. "We have to dare to be ourselves," she says, "however frightening or strange that self may prove to be." In taking inventory of her own creative life, Hilary Stevens recalls how the "mermaids" sang. "Love opens the doors into everything, as far as I can see, including, and perhaps most of all, the door into one's secret, real self."
(from the publisher)
Original title: Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
Genre: Fiction→ Gay & Lesbian
Fiction→ General Fiction