Carol Shields (1935-2003) was born in Oak Park, Illinois. She studied at Hanover College, the University of Exeter in England, and the University of Ottawa. In 1957, she married Donald Shields and moved to Canada permanently. She taught at the University of Ottawa, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Manitoba, and served as chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. She wrote ten novels and three short story collections, in addition to poetry, plays, criticism, and a biography of Jane Austen. Her novel The Stone Diaries won the Pulitzer Prize, the Governor General's Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award; it was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Shields was further recognized with a Canada Council Major Award, two Canadian National Magazine Awards, the Canadian Authors Association Award, and countless other prizes and honors.
"A perfect little gem of a novel." --Toronto Star
"As Shields handily demonstrates here, a marriage is the culmination of a million tiny moments, and she strings them together with intense cumulative power. . . . a tour de force." --Publishers Weekly
"A delightful portrait of a partnership, full of quirky humour between two people who are at once familiar and strangers to each other. . . . A celebration of marriage." --The Times (London)
"Shields is an acute recorder of contemporary mores. . . . Happenstance resounds with a humanity and a generosity that is truly memorable." --The Daily Telegraph