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The Worlds of Carol Shields (Reappraisals

"Carol was a very fine writer and a remarkable human being, a wonderful person whose work I closely followed for more than 20 years. I interviewed her frequently over those years, with virtually every work she produced -novel, radio drama, play, book of stories. So I had a good sense of the span of her work and also her evolution as a stylist. But the key reason I wanted to make a book focusing on her life and work is that we were friends." -Eleanor Wachtel This book strikes the right balance between intimate accounts and literary analysis. It opens with reminiscences by close friend Eleanor Wachtel, which are followed by a study of Shields' poetry by her daughter and grandson, then by various aspects of her fiction, including a detailed examination of her plays. It closes with reminiscences by four close friends: Jane Urquhart, Joan Clark, Wayson Choy and Martin Levin. The 23 contributors offer new insights, new theories, and new perspectives about Shields' illuminating career. Only one piece-her obituary written by Margaret Atwood-has been previously published.
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Table of Contents

Introduction David Staines To The Lighthouse Margaret Atwood Art is Making: Carol Shields in Conversation and Correspondence Eleanor Wachtel The Square Root of a Ticking Clock: Time and Timing in Carol Shields's Poetry and Prose Anne Giardini and Joseph Giardini All that "below the surface" Stuff: Carol Shields's Conversational Modes Coral Ann Howells Guilt, Guile, and Ginger in Small Ceremonies ElizabethWaterston Revisiting the Sequel: Carol Shields's Companion Novels Wendy Roy Sarah Binks, Pat Lowther, and the Satirical Gothic Turn in Carol Shields's Swann: A Mystery Cynthia Sugars Assembling Identity: Late Life Agency in The Stone Angel and The Stone Diaries Patricia Life Male Pattern Bewilderment in Larry's Party John Van Rys Departures, Arrivals: Canada/U.S. Migration and the Trope of Travel in the Fiction of Carol Shields Alex Ramon "To Be Faithfull to the Idea of Being Good": The Expansion to Goodness in Carol Shields's Unless Margaret Steffler Narrative Pragmatism: Goodness in Carol Shields's Unless Tim Heath Shields's Guerrilla Gardeners: Sowing Seeds of Defiance in a Middle-Class World Shelley Boyd Cool Empathy in the Short Fiction of Carol Shields Marilyn Rose The "Perfect Gift" and the "True Gift": Empathetic Dialogue in Carol Shields's "A Scarf" and Joyce Carol Oates's "The Scarf" ElizabethReimer Prepositional Domesticity Aritha van Herk Grand Slam: Birthing Women and Bridging Generations in Carol Shields's Play Thirteen Hands Nora Foster Stovel Archives as Traces of Life Process and Engagement: the Late Years of the Carol Shields Fonds CatherineHobbs The Voices of Carol Shields Joan Clark The Clarity of Her Anger Jane Urquhart My Seen-Sang, Carol Shields: A Memoir of a Master Teacher Wayson Choy Carol Shields Martin Levin

About the Author

Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, David Staines specializes in medieval literature and culture and Canadian literature and culture. In the former, he has published Tennyson's Camelot: The Idylls of the King and Its Medieval Sources, and translated The Complete Romances of Chretien de Troyes; in the latter, he published The Canadian Imagination: Dimensions of a Literary Culture, The Forty-Ninth and Other Parallels: Contemporary Canadian Perspectives, and The Letters of Stephen Leacock. He has also edited volumes on Morley Callaghan, Stephen Leacock and Margaret Laurence, and co-edited volumes of the writings of Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. A long-time friend of Carol Shields, he wrote Carol Shields: Cultural Context, a part of Library and Archives Canada's Web exhibition Canadian Writers.


Most of the 23 pieces in this collection were presented at a conference celebrating the work of Shields at the University of Ottawa in 2012. (...) These pieces wrap the collection in a quilt of affectionate memory of Carol Shields as a person, teacher and a friend that will be a necessary comfort for the non-academic reader of the book (...). Scholars will be grateful for the essays in this collection. Readers are advised to treat the book as a companion to a rereading of Shields oeuvre (...). -- Marian Botsford * Carol's Canon : A new collection explores Carol Shield's literary legacy *

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