The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton (1989)

The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton cover

From the 1989 W.W. Norton edition of The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton: In this novel by Mary Sarton, Harriet Hatfield at sixty begins a new adventure. Her friend of thirty years has died and left her enough money to fund her dream of running a women’s bookstore. But when Hatfield House: A Bookstore for Women opens in a blue-collar neighborhood near Boston, Harriet is bombarded by anonymous threats, and obscenities are written on the windows.

Then a Boston Globe reporter headlines her interview, “Lesbian Bookstore Owner Threatened” and the education of Harriet begins. Never before has she thought of herself as a member of a persecuted minority.

Now she has “come out,” and doors begin to open in every direction for this innocent abroad who has become a target for some and a heroine for others. At the end, Harriet stands undismayed in the door she herself has opened into the disturbing world of homophobia.

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The education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton

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