Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Brighten the Corner Where You Are is a book by Carol Bruneau.

Carol Bruneau

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. (From Nimbus Publishing)

Carol Bruneau is a writer from Halifax. Her other books include the novel Purple for Sky and A Circle on the Surface and  the short story collection A Bird on Every Tree.

Interviews with Carol Bruneau

What is folk art?

27 years ago
Duration 12:35
Collectors, scholars and dealers discuss the whimsical carvings and naive paintings created by ordinary people. Painting: Maud Lewis

Celebrating Maud Lewis

8 years ago
Duration 1:03
Maud Lewis's art warms hearts 46 years after her passing.

More about Maud Lewis

A 1965 profile of folk artist Maud Lewis at work in her Nova Scotia home

1 year ago
Duration 14:31
CBC's biography series Telescope looks in on folk artist Maud Lewis and her husband Everett. Airdate: Nov. 25, 1965.

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