Carol Shields biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Carol Shields.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Carol Shields

Carol Shields

Carol Shields Biography

Born and brought up in Chicago (in the same suburb as Ernest Hemingway), Carol lived in Canada since 1957.

She died of cancer in July 2003. at the age of 68. She is survived by her husband, Don, and their children John, Anne, Catherine, Meg and Sara.

The Stone Diaries was nominated for The Man Booker Prize Best Novel and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Best Novel. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction for Larry's Party. Unless was nominated for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, The Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction Best Novel.

Bibliography

Novels
Small Ceremonies (1976)
The Box Garden (1977)
Happenstance (1980)
A Fairly Conventional Woman (1982)
Mary Swann (1987) aka Swann
The Orange Fish (1989)
A Celibate Season (1991, with Blanche Howard)
The Republic of Love (1992)
The Stone Diaries (1993)
Larry's Party (1997)
Unless (2002)
Duet (2003)

Collections
Others (1972, poems)
Intersect (1974, poems)
Various Miracles (1985)
Coming to Canada (1992, poems)
Dressing up for the Carnival (2000)
Thirteen Hands and Other Plays (2002)
The Collected Stories (2004)

Plays
Departures & Arrivals (1988)
Fashion, Power, Guilt and the Charity of Families (1993, with Catherine Shields)
Thirteen Hands (1997)
Anniversary (1998, with Dave Williamson)

Non Fiction
Susanna Moodie: Voice and Vision (1977)
Jane Austen (2001)
A Memoir of Friendship: The Letters Between Carol Shields and Blanche Howard (2007)
The Staircase Letters (2007, with Elma Gerwin, Arthur Motyer)

Bibliography courtesy of Fantastic Fiction

Link to Carol's website

This biography was last updated on 04/05/2012.

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Interview

A Conversation with Carol Shields

Can you tell us how you became a writer?
I was a word-conscious child. My terrible early efforts -- by terrible, I mean derivative and unreflective -- were encouraged by my teachers and parents. I loved narrative; I knew that very early. And the act of writing was for me probably the most spiritual experience in my life. It seemed only natural to write the kind of books that I wanted to read.

What inspired you to write this particular book? Is there a story about the writing of this novel that begs to be told?
I wanted to write a novel after writing a biography and I found the voice of the novel in a short story I had previously published, "A Scarf," in Dressing Up for the Carnival. I wanted to write in the first person after many years of writing in the third person. A friend, Winnipeg writer Jake MacDonald, convinced me during one of our many long lunches that we novelists would be able to show more "decent" people in fiction if we wrote in the first person. His theory is that the third-person voice makes us nasty and ironic and less in tune with the world. I think he's right. I chose the voice of 44 year-old Reta Winters, a wife and mother, a writer and translator,...

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Books by this Author

Books by Carol Shields at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

Unless
Unless

by Carol Shields

A harrowing but ultimately consoling story of one family's anguish and healing.
Read More

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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Carol Shields but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Tatiana de Rosnay

    Tatiana de Rosnay

    Tatiana de Rosnay was born on September 28th, 1961 in the suburbs of Paris. She is of English, French and Russian descent.  Her father is French scientist Joël de Rosnay, her grandfather was painter Gaëtan ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Unless

    Try:
    A Secret Kept
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

  • Louise Erdrich

    Louise Erdrich

    Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of contemporary Native American novelists. Born in 1954 in Little Falls, Minnesota, she grew up mostly in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where her parents taught ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Unless

    Try:
    The Master Butchers Singing Club
    by Louise Erdrich

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