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Since her untimely death in 1975, the life and work of the Vancouver poet Pat Lowther have often been referred to as 'the Lowther legacy.' In The Half-Lives of Pat Lowther, Christine Wiesenthal seeks to convey what that legacy actually entails.
Combining biography with an analysis of literary and cultural history, Wiesenthal examines the critical legacy of a writer whose remarkable life and poetry have remained overshadowed by her notorious death.
Working within a new form of biography, which employs multiple narrative arcs - or 'half-lives' - that interpret Lowther's life and poetry within and across several interpretive frameworks, Wiesenthal retraces the influences on the public memory of the poet.
She charts Lowther's complex creative evolution: from her modest beginnings as a high-school drop out and single mother, to her emergence as one of the most distinctive poetic voices of the seventies. A wealth of previously uncollected and unpublished letters, notebook entries, court documents, interviews, and archival materials illuminate Pat Lowther's manifold achievements in her domestic, political, and intellectual lives. The Half-Lives of Pat Lowther is the premier work on this remarkable figure.
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