Emily Carr was primarily a painter, but she first gained recognition as an author for her seven books about her journeys to remote Native communities and stories about life as an artist, as a small child in Victoria at the turn of the last centuryand as a reluctant landlady.
Before winning recognition for her painting and writing, Carr built a small apartment building with four suites (she lived in one of them) that she hoped would earn her a living. But things turned out worse than expected, and in her forties, the gifted artist found herself shoveling coal and cleaning up after people for 23 years.
The House of All Sorts is a collection of 41 stories of those hard-working days and the parade of tenants- young couples, widows, sad bachelors and rent evaders all the tears and travails of being a landlady confronted with the startling foibles of humanity. Carr is at her most acerbic and rueful, but filled with energy and inextinguishable hope.
Carr’s writing is vital and direct, aware and poignant, and as well regarded today as when The House of All Sorts was first published in 1944 to critical and popular acclaim. The book has been in print ever since.