First published in 1968 by Longman Canada, the novel tells the hilarious and frustrating story of thirty-year-old academic Sarah Porlock as she makes her way through the minefields of career and love in late-1960s Toronto. Long recognised for her groundbreaking novel Bear (1976), Engel's first novel can now rightly be seen to inaugurate and participate in a number of important literary traditions. Like Scott Symons' controversial 1967 book, Place d'Armes (also published by the Insomniac Library), it is a species of notebook or journal, which, as critic Elspeth Cameron has argued, reminds us as has so much recent Canadian literature, that evolution is preferred to revolution, that what is great in the past can be adapted to give strength to the present. This is also one of the first of the truly great feminist novels written in English, inaugurating a tradition that would continue with the work of Margaret Drabble and Margaret Atwood.
Used availability for Marian Engel's Sarah Bastard's Notebook
March 2006 : Canada Paperback
1974 : Canada Mass Market Paperback