Fiction Carol Shields Collected Stories

ISBN 13: 9780060762032

Collected Stories

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9780060762032: Collected Stories

For the first time all of Carol Shields' remarkable short stories -- some previously unpublished -- are gathered together in one volume. In The Collected Stories we bring together Carol Shields original short story volumes: Various Miracles, The Orange Fish and Dressing Up for the Carnival. Some of the stories in these individual collections have never before been published in the UK, and we add to these wonderful shorter fictions a chapter from Carol Shields' last, unfinished, novel Segue. In these stories the author combines the dazzling viruosity and wise maturity that won so many readers to her prize-winning novels such as The Stone Diaries and Unless.

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Product Description:

With the profound maturity and exquisite eye for detail that never failed to capture readers of her prize-winning novels, Carol Shields dazzles with these remarkable stories. Generous, delightful, and acutely observed, this essential collection illuminates the miracles that grace our lives; it will continue to enchant for years to come.

Review:

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 Ryan

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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. This collection gathers all of the short stories by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Stones Diaries and the National Book Award-nominated Unless. It includes the previously unpublished story Segue, her last work. Playfull, acutely observed, and generous in spirit, these stories reveal Carol Shield's eagerness to explore the most fundamental of relationships and the wildest coincidences---the absurdities and miracles of ordinary lives, in stock. Bookseller Inventory # 021507002

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