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The Stone Diaries is Carol Shields's most celebrated work and one of the most critically acclaimed and successful novels of the past two decades. A fictional autobiography of an ordinary woman, this multi-award-winning book (Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Governor-General's Award) serves as a record of the last century. Daisy Goodwill is on a journey of self-discovery. From her last days in a Florida nursing home she looks back in an attempt to make sense of her life story. Her birth in a turn of the century farmhouse is a shock, born to a woman so obese she doesn't even realize she is pregnant. Widowed on her honeymoon after her husband takes his own life, there is another marriage, children and a beloved hobby that becomes a career, of sorts. It is a life like any other, filled with the richness of human relations and the sting of disappointments both big and small. The beauty of this work lies in the details, the tiny brushstrokes of character and setting, at which Carol Shields is the undisputed master.
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This fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett, captured in Daisy's vivacious yet reflective voice, has been winning over readers since its publication in 1995, when it won the Pulitzer Prize. After a youth marked by sudden death and loss, Daisy escapes into conventionality as a middle-class wife and mother. Years later she becomes a successful garden columnist and experiences the kind of awakening that thousands of her contemporaries in mid-century yearned for but missed in alcoholism, marital infidelity and bridge clubs. The events of Daisy's life, however, are less compelling than her rich, vividly described inner life--from her memories of her adoptive mother to her awareness of impending death. Shields' sensuous prose and her deft characterizations make this, her sixth novel, her most successful yet.From the Back Cover:
Who is the real Daisy Goodwill? In this miniaturist masterpiece, Carol Shields pieces together one woman’s story, from its dramatic beginning in a Manitoba kitchen at the turn of the last century to its closing chapter in a Florida hospital in the early nineties. Drifting through the stages of childhood, romance, motherhood, and old age — and frequently crowded out of her own history by more flamboyant forebears, friends, and relations — Daisy emerges as a twentieth-century Everywoman and her life as a diary of this “mean old sentimental century.”
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