The Half-lives of Pat Lowther
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A wealth of previously uncollected and unpublished letters, notebook entries, court documents, interviews, and archival materials illuminate Pat Lowther's manifold achievements in her domestic, political, and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.