An exquisite painter, intellectual, social activist and articulate lesbian feminist, Mary Meigs did not begin her writing career until age sixty. While her books are grounded in the particulars of her personal relationships, they are difficult to categorize. So luminous are they with her painter's recognition of the dance of shades and hues of context, so unsparingly lucid is her intellect of analytical and mindful thought, so unsentimental and profoundly self-aware isher heart, that her books read like the most exquisitely crafted fiction a life embraced to the fullest, and with eyes wide open, can become in its written record.
Mary Meigs suffered a stroke in 1999. Undaunted and irrepressible, Meigs embraced her fate with both a penetrating curiosity and an utterly undiminished will to create. New, discrete forms of writing emerged: an incisively contemplative journal; a beautifully witty, illustrated fax correspondence between her cat Mike and Marie-Claire Blais's cat Mouser; and a fascinating series of collaborative "free writing" sketches, beginning with a line or phrase, usually from a poem, on which the writer elaborated without moving pen from paper.
Lise Weil has constructed a celebratory gathering of these magical pieces in Beyond Recall , Meigs's paean to the indomitable human spirit and its triumph over the infirmities and obstacles oldage imposes on the human condition.