A brilliant novel reimagining the life of internationally renowned folk artist Maud Lewis by an award-winning author.
But I had known since forever that it's colours that keep the world turning,
that keep a person going.
One glimpse of the tiny painted house that folk art legend Maud Lewis shared with her husband, Everett, in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia, during the mid-twentieth century and the startling contrast between her joyful artwork and her life's deprivations is evident. One glimpse at her photo and you realize, for all her smile's shyness, she must've been one tough cookie. But, beneath her iconic resilience, who was Maud, really? How did she manage, holed up in that one-room house with no running water, married to a miserly man known for his drinking? Was she happy, or was she miserable? Did painting save or make her Everett's meal ticket? And then there are the darker secrets that haunt her story: the loss of her parents, her child, her first love.
Against all odds, Maud Lewis rose above these constraints—and this is where you'll find the Maud of Brighten the Corner Where You Are: speaking her mind from beyond the grave, freed of the stigmas of gender, poverty, and disability that marked her life and shaped her art. Unfettered and feisty as can be, she tells her story her way, illuminating the darkest corners of her life. In possession of a voice all her own, Maud demonstrates the agency that hovers within us all.
Carol Bruneau is the acclaimed author of three short story collections, including A Bird on Every Tree, published by Vagrant Press in 2017, and five other novels. Her first novel, Purple for Sky, won the 2001 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award. Her 2007 novel, Glass Voices, was a Globe and Mail Best Book and has become a book club favourite. Her most recent novel, A Circle on the Surface, won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award. Her reviews, stories, and essays have appeared nationwide in newspapers, journals, and anthologies, and two of her novels have been published internationally. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband and their dog and badass cat.
"This book is beautiful, as rich and uplifting as it is a literary masterpiece." —Kerry Claire of Picklemethis.com (Toronto, ON)