The House of All Sorts

The House of All Sorts

Book - 2004
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Before winning recognition for her painting and writing, Emily Carr built a small apartment building with four suites that she hoped would earn her a living. But things turned out worse than expected, and in her forties, the gifted artist found herself shoveling coal and cleaning up other people's messes.

The House of All Sorts is a collection of forty-one stories of those hard-working days and the parade of tenants -- young couples, widows, sad bachelors and rent evaders. Carr is at her most rueful, but filled with energy and an inextinguishable hope.

Carr also ran a small kennel and bred bobtails to help out her meagre income. In an additional twenty-five stories, she lovingly describes the mutual bonds of affection and companionship between her and her dogs.

Her writing is vital and direct, aware and poignant, and as well regarded today as when The House of All Sorts was first published in 1944 to critical and popular acclaim.

Publisher: Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, 2004
ISBN: 9781553650546


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Mar 24, 2012

My aunt gave me this, along with a biography of Grey Owl, when she was cleaning out her bookshelves. I’ve had them in my to-be-read pile for at least two years now. As soon as I started The House Of All Sorts, I wondered why I had waited so long. Perhaps I thought it would be stuffy, or a rote biography; I certainly did not expect one of Canada’s most famous artists to write such soaring, magical prose. Emily Carr’s writing has lost absolutely none of its strong voice across 100 years, and if this is merely the creative outlet she was forced to turn to when she couldn’t afford to paint, then her paintings must be deafening.

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