The Book of Small is a collection of thirty-six short stories about a childhood in a town that still had vestiges of its pioneer past. Emily Carr tells stories about her family, neighbours, friends and strangers-who run the gamut from genteel people in high society to disreputable frequenters of saloons-as well as an array of beloved pets. All are observed through the sharp eyes and ears of a young and ever-curious girl. Carr's writing is a disarming combination of charm and devastating frankness.
The legendary Emily Carr (1871-1945) was primarily a painter, but she first gained recognition as an author. Known as Millie to her family and friends, Emily was born on December 13, 1871. Surrounded by the rugged landscape of British Columbia, Emily grew a passion for nature, animals and art. When her parents died during her early teens, Emily escaped her oldest sister's strict rule by leaving to study Art in San Francisco. She later studied in Paris and London where she was hospitalized for stress relief. After teaching Art to children in Vancouver she returned to Victoria in 1913. In later years taking up painting again, Emily's meeting with The Group Of Seven influenced her profoundly. She wrote seven popular, critically acclaimed books about her journeys to remote Native communities and about her life as an artist as well as her life as a small child in Victoria. Emily Carr's first book, Klee Wyck, won a Governor General's award for general literature, the year that it was published in 1941.