Beginnings is an expanded version of two-time Governor-General Award winner Dorothy Livesay’s fictionalized memoirs. A collection of more than 15 short stories follows the young life of Elizabeth, Livesay’s character, living in Winnipeg from just before the First World War when she was three, until 1920 when her family moves to Toronto.
Starting within her own family, Elizabeth’s journey expands outwards to include her neighbourhood, her school, her city, and eventually the world at large, as she waits patiently for the war to end and her father to return home.
"In this collection, Livesay late in life looks back to her beginnings, both her early life and her early writings about that life. Far from a departure from her poetic self, these stories are lyrically in keeping. By prefacing the stories with her poem, "Isolate," Livesay cements the connection between two genres and confirms Beginnings...as poet's prose."
-- Lee Briscoe Thompson, in her book Dorothy Livesay
Dorothy Kathleen May Livesay was a Canadian poet who twice won the Governor General's Award in the 1940s, and wrote long into the 1970s and 80s. Livesay's first collection of poetry, Green Pitcher, was published in 1928, when she was only nineteen. In 1931 in Paris, Livesay became a committed Communist. She was writer-in-residence at many Canadian universities. In 1975 she founded the literary quarterly CVII (Contemporary Verse 2). She died in Victoria, British Columbia in 1996.