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"Charleen is a divorcee in her mid-thirties, eking out a living as a poet and part-time assistant for an obscure scientific journal. Although she is quick to count her blessings - a son whom she loves, a blossoming relationship with a man, and friends who care about her - Charleen wonders how her life turned out the way it did. Is she a failure? Or is she still struggling to escape the limited world of her childhood? Her search for answers is as exasperating as the meager paycheck she takes to the bank every week. But when she returns home to attend her mother's wedding, Charleen is caught up in a series of unexpected - and terrifying - events. And in coping with these big and small emergencies, she is forced to come to terms with the life she has led and the decisions she has made. "--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
For the first time, all of Carol Shields's remarkable short stories are gathered together in one volume. This definitive anthology contains the previously unpublished story "Segue," her last work. In these stories Carol Shields combines the dazzling virtuosity and wise maturity that won so many readers to her prize-winning novels. With her exquisite eye for detail and her eagerness to explore the most fundamental of relationships and the wildest of coincidences, she illuminates the absurdities and miracles that grace all of our lives. Playful, charming, acutely observed, and generous of spirit, this collection of stories will delight and enchant readers the world over.
The idea for Dropped Threads: What We Aren't Told came up between Carol Shields and longtime friend Marjorie Anderson over lunch. It appeared that after decades of feminism, the "women's network" still wasn't able to prevent women being caught off-guard by life. There remained subjects women just didn't talk about, or felt they couldn't talk about. Holes existed in the fabric of women's discourse, and they needed examining.They asked thirty-four women to write about moments in life that had taken them by surprise or experiences that received too little discussion, and then they compiled these pieces into a book. It became an instant number one bestseller, a book clubs' favourite and a runaway success. Dropped Threads, says Anderson, "tapped into a powerful need to share personal stories about life's defining moments of surprise and silence." Readers recognized themselves in these honest and intimate stories; there was something universal in these deeply personal accounts. Other stories and suggestions poured in. Dropped Threads would clearly be an ongoing project.Like the first volume, Dropped Threads 2 features stories by well-known novelists and journalists such as Jane Urquhart, Susan Swan and Shelagh Rogers, but also many excellent new writers including teachers, mothers, a civil servant, a therapist. This triumphant follow-up received a starred first review in Quill and Quire magazine, which called it "compassionate and unflinching." The book deals with such difficult topics as loss, depression, disease, widowhood, violence, and coming to terms with death. Several stories address some of the darker sides of motherhood:- A mother describes how, while sleep-deprived and in a miserable marriage, she is shocked to find infanticide crossing her mind.- Another woman recounts a memory of her alcoholic mother demanding the children prove their loyalty in a terrifying way.- A woman desperate for children refers to the bleak truth as: "Another Christmas of feeling barren." Narrating the fertility treatment she undergoes, the hopes dashed, she is amusing in retrospect and yet brutally honest.While they deal with loss and trauma, the pieces show the path to some kind of acceptance, showing the authors' determination to learn from pain and pass on the wisdom gained. The volume also covers the rewards of learning to be a parent, choosing to remain single, or fitting in as a lesbian parent. It explores how women feel when something is missing in a friendship, how they experience discrimination, relationship challenges, and other emotions less easily defined but just as close to the bone:- Alison Wearing in "My Life as a Shadow" subtly describes allowing her personality to be subsumed by her boyfriend's.- Pamela Mala Sinha tells how, after suffering a brutal attack, she felt self-hatred and a longing for retribution.- Dana McNairn talks of her uncomfortable marriage to a man from a different social background: "I wanted to fit in with this strange, wondrous family who never raised their voices, never swore and never threw things at one another."Humour, a confiding tone, and beautiful writing elevate and enliven even the darkest stories. Details bring scenes vividly to life, so we feel we are in the room with Barbara Defago when the doctor tells her she has breast cancer, coolly dividing her life into a 'before and after.' Lucid, reflective and poignant, Dropped Threads 2 is for anyone interested in women's true stories.
Larry Weller, born in 1950, is an ordinary guy made extraordinary by his creator's perception, irony and tenderness. Carol Shields gives us, as it were, a CAT scan of his life, in episodes between 1977 and 1997 that flash back and forward seamlessly. As Larry journeys toward the millennium, adapting to society's changing expectations of men, Shields' elegant prose makes the trivial into the momentous. Among all the paradoxes and accidents of his existence, Larry moves through the spontaneity of the seventies, the blind enchantment of the eighties and the lean, mean nineties, completing at last his quiet, stubborn search of self. Larry's odyssey mirrors the male condition at the end of our century with targeted wit, unerring poignancy and faultless wisdom.
Le Carnaval du quotidien, version française de Dressing up for the Carnival, est le troisième et dernier recueil de nouvelles de Carol Shields. Les nouvelles de Shields dévoilent le côté ludique et l'imagination féconde de cette grande dame de la littérature canadienne. Une grève de météorologistes provoque une suspension totale du climat (Acclimatement). Le gouvernement instaure une taxe sur les fenêtres qui incite la population à se replier dans la noirceur en recouvrant toutes les surfaces vitreuses des demeures (Fenêtres). Stop! aborde la réclusion d'une reine qui est allergique à tout, même à la marche du temps. Reportage porte sur la découverte d'un amphithéâtre romain au Manitoba qui transforme l'économie locale. On rencontre également Titus, un berger de l'Antiquité, qui invente la rêverie dans la nouvelle intitulée Invention. D'une nouvelle à l'autre, le lecteur est invité dans l'univers de Shields où la vie est synonyme de spectacle et le quotidien n'est ni banal ni ordinaire.
In the sequel to Roughing It in the Bush, Susanna Moodie portrays the relatively sophisticated society springing up in the clearings along Lake Ontario. During a trip from Belleville to Niagara Falls, Moodie acts as a meticulous observer of the social customs and practices of the times.Invaluable as social history and as a candid self-portrait, Life in the Clearings versus the Bush chronicles, with wit and wisdom, Canadian society in the mid-19th century.The NCL edition is an unabridged reprint of the complete original text.From the Paperback edition.
In celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of its original publication, Carol Shields's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is now available in a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition ONE OF THE MOST successful and acclaimed novels of our time, this fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett is a subtle but affecting portrait of an everywoman reflecting on an unconventional life. What transforms this seemingly ordinary tale is the richness of Daisy's vividly described inner life--from her earliest memories of her adoptive mother to her awareness of impending death.
Carol Shields's award-winning and critically acclaimed "literary mystery," first published in 1987.Swann is the story of four individuals who become entwined in the life of Mary Swann, a rural Canadian poet whose authentic and unique voice is discovered only hours before her husband hacks her to pieces.Who is Mary Swann? And how could she have produced these works of genius in almost complete isolation? Mysteriously, all traces of Swann's existence -- her notebook, the first draft of her work, even her photograph -- gradually vanish as the characters in this engrossing novel become caught up in their own concepts of who Mary Swann was.From the Trade Paperback edition.
With a Foreword by the Author"Before becoming a playwright I was a novelist, and one who was often impatient with the requisite description of weather or scenery or even with the business of moving people from room to room. I was more interested in the sound of people talking to each other, reacting to each other, or leaving silences for others to fall into." -- Carol ShieldsFrom one of Canada's most beloved authors comes a collection of four works written for the stage, including her most popular and highly acclaimed play Thirteen Hands. The theatrical form allows Carol Shields' strength as a master of dialogue to shine at its brightest, as she returns to themes she explores in her prose: love, family, friendship, and the hidden meanings and larger truths found beneath the surface of the minutiae of daily life. Thirteen Hands and Other Plays is an exhilarating introduction to Shields' considerable achievements as a playwright.Departures and Arrivals (1990) dramatizes how lives are heightened and enlarged when taken within the frame of public spaces -- airports, train stations, public streets -- so that we all become, in a sense, actors. Thirteen Hands (1993), a musical, valorizes a consistently overlooked group in our society, "the blue-rinse set" -- also known as "the white glove brigade" or "the bridge club biddies" -- and has had the strongest professional run of all Shields' plays. Fashion, Power, Guilt and the Charity of Families (1995), written with her daughter, Catherine Shields, interrogates the ambivalence felt towards families, the drive we all share to find or create some kind of family, and the equally strong desire to escape the family's fury. Anniversary (1998), written with Dave Williamson, is a domestic drama of discontented, middle class suburbanites. One couple in the play are married and pretending to be close to separation. Another couple, who are separated, are pretending to be married. The additional irony is that the separated couple are still emotionally together, while the married couple have already emotionally separated.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Forty-four-year-old Reta Winters, wife, mother, writer, and translator, is living a happy life until one of her three daughters drops out of university to sit on a downtown street corner silent and cross-legged with a begging bowl in her lap and a placard round her neck that says "Goodness." The final book from Pulitzer Prize-winner Carol Shields, Unless is a candid and deeply moving novel from one of the twentieth century's most accomplished and beloved authors.
The stories collected here offer an entrancing look at some of the various miracles of everyday life, the quirks of chance and coincidence, life's setbacks and improvisations. Carol Shields deftly draws us into the lives of a broad range of sharply observed characters, from the brilliant young violinist smothered by an overprotective family, to the elderly widow mowing her lawn while a long, passionate life buzzes around in her memory.Blending wit and compassion, Shields illuminates moments when ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances, declarations of love and revelations that transform their lives. Sharp, skeptical and sympathetic, this collection presents Shields at her inimitable best in twenty-one miracles of the storyteller's art.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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