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The Stone Angel
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"The Stone Angel", "The Diviners", and "A Bird in the House" are three of the five books in Margaret Laurence's renowned "Manawaka series", named for the small Canadian prairie town in which they take place. Each of these books is narrated by a strong woman growing up in the town and struggling with physical and emotional isolation. "A Jest of God" and "The Fire Dwellers", the two other books in the series, will be published in the Fall of 1993. In "The Stone Angel", Hagar Shipley, age ninety, tells the story of her life, and in doing so tries to come to terms with how the very qualities which sustained her have deprived her of joy. Mingling past and present, she maintains pride in the face of senility, while recalling the life she led as a rebellious young bride, and later as a grieving mother. Laurence gives us in Hagar a woman who is funny, infuriating and heartbreakingly poignant. "It is [Laurence's] admirable achievement to strike, with an equally sure touch, the peculiar note and the universal; she gives us a portrait of a remarkable character and at the same time the picture of old age itself, with the pain, the weariness, the terror, the impotent angers and physical mishaps, the realization that others are waiting and wishing for an end". -- Honor Tracy, "The New Republic"
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