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Carol Shields's collection of short stories is the definitive anthology of this genre of her work. It contains all previously published stories and one entirely new: "Segue," her last work. She died of cancer in July of 2003, after fighting the good fight, for the second time. The book is introduced by Margaret Atwood, another widely read Canadian author, who was a longtime friend and admirer of Shields.
The stories are truly remarkable, combining great humor with poignant observation--an exploration of the idiosyncracies of our friends, lovers, spouses, and children, and the gift of being a true storyteller. She glories in writing about the mundane: grocery shopping, ballet lessons, mowing the lawn; and in the quirky, as in a young boy's grandfather who becomes a "naturist," a grandmother who was North America's Turkey Queen in Ramona, California, and wore a dress made completely of turkey feathers. Her writing is full of wonder and serendipity: "Roger, aged thirty, employed by the Gas Board, is coming out of a corner grocers carrying a mango in his left hand. He went in to buy an apple and came out with this." Now, what will turn out to be important here: Roger's age, his employment, why the mango instead of the apple, and, is he left-handed? Carol Shields will sort it all out for the reader, in the most enjoyable way possible. While her stories are accessible, they are never trivial. Each one is finely crafted, illuminating something about a person, a relationship, an event.
In "Segue," Max and Jane begin their Sunday morning buying bread and flowers; he, an accomplished novelist, she, a writer of sonnets. They proceed to luncheon at their daughter's house, return home to conversation, reading, roast chicken, and evening reverie. Jane reflects upon her aging body: "My aging is me too, as well as the subject of my current sonnet. Only two years ago the idea of aging belonged to the whole world. It was background. I hadn't been touched by it then. Now I am." Touched by age and encroaching illness, Carol Shields wrote one last marvelous story.
In her foreword, Margaret Atwood, who visited Shields only two months before she died, writes: "We did not speak of her illness. She preferred to be treated as a person who was living, not one who was dying." This attitude of mind is reflected in the fabric of all her work, in its clarity, its appreciation of the absurd, and in her understanding of the human condition. --Valerie RyanAbout the Author: Carol Shields was born in Chicago and lived in Canada for most of her life. She is the author of three short story collections and eight novels, including the Pulitzer Prize -- winning The Stone Diaries and Larry’s Party, winner of the Orange Prize.
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Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # QW-K321-7J7C
Book Description Harper, 2005. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: With a new Introduction by Margaret Atwood, this essential anthology represents the entire writing career of Carol Shields, from 1985 until her untimely death in 2003. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060762039
Book Description Fourth Estate, United Kingdom, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. Very Good condition, May have minor shelf wear. 593 pages. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: Under 1 kilo. ISBN: 0060762039. ISBN/EAN: 9780060762032. Inventory No: 1561021259. Bookseller Inventory # 1561021259
Book Description Harper, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1St Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060762039
Book Description Harper, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060762039