Â Â Â As a novelist concerned with issues of gender, social class, and ethnicity, Jo Sinclair has won coveted literary prizes and a devoted following. Now in this extraordinary memoir, she relates a tale as fascinating, and as moving, as any work of fiction. At the center of Sinclair's story is her relationship with Helen Buchman, a middle-class wife and mother with a passion for literature and gardening. The two women couldn't have been more different: Buchman, despite suffering from diabetes, was self-assured, cultured, stable. Sinclair, on the other hand, was a product of the Jewish ghetto, carrying a host of emotional and spiritual scars. Nevertheless, when Buchman invited the young woman into her home in the 1940s, the two developed an intense relationship. Buchman became both best friend and mentor, encouraging Sinclair's writing and passing along a sense of the spiritual nature of gardening. The book deals not only with these early formative years but also with Sinclair's struggle to accept her friend's death in 1963, her triumph over alcoholism, and her ultimate transfiguration as an accomplished author.
"A story of the dailiness of two women's lives, The Seasons is thick with fragile rhythms--of gardens and conversations, work and love. Jo Sinclair's cross-class memoir is a working-class Kaddish, a mournful praise song, not of loss, but of the courage of honest continuation." --Janet Zandy, editor of Calling Home: Working Class Women's Writings "Jo Sinclair's The Seasons tells us much about the writing life, the mental and material processes involved in being a writer, as well as embodying and reflecting on its own successive transformations from the journal record to the final art of autobiographical text. In its testimony to friendship, it is also an expression of biography as autobiography. Detailing her friend's illness and death, Sinclair offers a scrupulously detailed record of the body in pain. At the same time, she transcribes her own agony and witnesses too the redemptive powers of nature and art." --Barbara Shollar, editor of Longman Anthology of World Literature by Women, 1875-1975 "Jo Sinclair's memoir is a powerful, moving, carefully woven, and important work. It is a book for and about Helen Buchman, the woman who provided water, light, and nutrients for the seeds of a young woman to grow into a writer and a soul. This is also the story of Ruth Seid-Jo Sinclair who was that young woman and of the relationship between Helen and Jo. It is, moreover, and perhaps essentially, a book about gardening--literal and metaphoric--and the seasons of nature and of life." --Nancy Porter, former editor of Women's Studies Quarterly