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The Stone Angel (Phoenix Fiction) [Paperback]

3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 1993 Phoenix Fiction
"The Stone Angel", "The Diviners", and "A Bird in the House" are three of the five books in Margaret Laurence's renowned "Manawaka series", named for the small Canadian prairie town in which they take place. Each of these books is narrated by a strong woman growing up in the town and struggling with physical and emotional isolation. "A Jest of God" and "The Fire Dwellers", the two other books in the series, will be published in the Fall of 1993. In "The Stone Angel", Hagar Shipley, age ninety, tells the story of her life, and in doing so tries to come to terms with how the very qualities which sustained her have deprived her of joy. Mingling past and present, she maintains pride in the face of senility, while recalling the life she led as a rebellious young bride, and later as a grieving mother. Laurence gives us in Hagar a woman who is funny, infuriating and heartbreakingly poignant. "It is [Laurence's] admirable achievement to strike, with an equally sure touch, the peculiar note and the universal; she gives us a portrait of a remarkable character and at the same time the picture of old age itself, with the pain, the weariness, the terror, the impotent angers and physical mishaps, the realization that others are waiting and wishing for an end". -- Honor Tracy, "The New Republic"

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Reprinted edition edition (1 April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780226469362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226469362
  • ASIN: 0226469360
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 885,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A strikingly moving account of old age. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Margaret Laurence (1926-1987) grew up in a small prairie town in Canada. She lived in Africa and then England where she wrote her famous Manawaka series, of which The Diviners is the last volume, and The Stone Angel the first. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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ABOVE THE TOWN, on the hill brow, the stone angel used to stand. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The old lady is hilarious! 21 May 1998
By A Customer
The first twelve pages of The Stone Angel are tedious. It took me nearly a month to get past them, but once I did, I couldn't put this book down. Hagar Shipley's wit killed me; the cruelty she inflicts on her kids, and which they repay, got me upset. By the end of the night (I read it all at once) I felt like I'd seen a whole life in pieces, which is how life tends to look when we think back. Hagar screws up, but she doesn't back down. She lives life her way and pays for it. I wouldn't want to have tea with her, but I'm glad she's got a story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insigtful book 8 April 1998
By A Customer
First, as an uninterested english student who only took the oac course because i failed grade 12 course i had taught myself as a general rule to hate all books assigned. But the Stone Angel was different, Hagar's character paralled the ways i alienate my ownself from my life and others around, never really wanting the emotional closeness everyone else wants. This book, not only well written is a great lesson that life is lived once and no one escapes death. No matter how hard you try to run from it. This is a book i reccomend for anyone, and am happy it was assigned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The Stone Angel, I thought was a very well written novel. I read it in two days. I had to read it for my OAC English class. The Stone Angel is an excellent CANADIAN novel. And is a worthwhile novel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hagar Shipley 31 Dec 2009
By Robin Friedman TOP 500 REVIEWER
The character of Hagar ("stranger") from the Book of Genesis has retained a fascination for many readers over the millenia. In the Biblical story, Hagar is the servant of Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Hagar becomes pregnant with Abraham's child, Ishmael, after Sarah herself is unable to conceive. Twice, before the birth of Ishmael and thereafter, Abraham sends Hagar, at Sarah's insistence into the desert to wander and die. Genesis 17 and 21. On both occasions, God rescues Hagar and promises that Ishmael will be the father of a great nation of warriors. Throughout the Biblical account, there is an enmity between Ishmael and his descendants and Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, and his descendants. African Americans frequently describe themselves as Hagar's children, for her character as a lonely outcast. For example, a famous early blues by W.C. Handy is titled "All Aunt Hagar's Children, in a recording here by Louis Armstrong. Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy An extraordinary story by Edward P. Jones takes Handy's title and adds new dimensions to the Biblical tale, stressing themes of common humanity. All Aunt Hagar's Children

The renowned Canadian author Margaret Laurence's (1926 -- 1987) novel "The Stone Angel" (1964) adds its own layers to the story of Hagar. The story is set in Manawaka, a small fictitious prarie town in Manitoba, Canada and spans roughly the late 19th to mid-20th Century. The main character and narrator is a woman named Hagar Shipley, (born Hagar Currie.). She tells her story when she is a woman, terminally ill, in her 90s.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming back to an old friend 28 Nov 1998
By A Customer
I first read "The Stone Angel" when I was about thirteen years old... I read it in two days. Laurence did a marvelous job! Now I am in OAC English and I am enjoying re-reading it. After I first read the Stone Angel, I learned that Laurence had died in 1986- I was so disappointed. Then, I discovered "A Bird in the House", "A Jest of God", "The Diviners" etc.; each Laurence book was enriching (and I've read all of them). I feel sorry for anybody who is unable (unwilling?) to appreciate her art!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book 27 Sep 1998
By A Customer
An unusual and insightful view of one's own life in retrospect, highlighting the frustration that a previously vivacious person feels when surrounded by old age. Perhaps more suitable for personal reading or study than prescribed school work,this is not always a comfortable read but is ultimately a rewarding one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story 7 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the best books I have read {and i read a lot of books} in a long long time
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read, but an enlightening one 7 April 1999
By A Customer
I didn't want to like this book. Frankly, it made me think about things which, as a woman in my early 20s, I simply don't want to think about. Growing older. Losing the ability to perform simple tasks which I once took for granted. Feeling alone and unloved. The fact that it made me want to think about these things, that it made me keep turning the pages when I was tempted to put it aside, I think that demonstrates its power.
I think it's no accident that many of the negative reviews for this novel here are by teenagers -- I don't know if it's possible for someone that young to be as touched my this novel, to understand it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this book but it needed a bit more of a plot.
I liked this book but it needed a little bot of a lot and climax. This book was a book that I wouldn't pick up to read in my leisure but i had to read for my OAC English class. Read more
Published on 11 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars It portrays realistically the life a strong women.
Margaret Laurence did an excellent job at balancing the past and present. Both stories had the same plot structure. Read more
Published on 8 July 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good book for those who don't believe in god.
The end of the book was disappointing because she shows really believes in God. Otherwises the book is pretty boring. However the shifts for present to past are quite clear.
Published on 23 May 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars WORST BOOK of ALL TIME
FIRST I give this book 0 stars. I had to read this "book" for my english, and i mean this is far the worst thing i have ever encountered in my life. Read more
Published on 30 Mar 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for talent, 2 missing for the story itself.
I'm a grade twelve honour student in Ontario who just finished reading this book. I believe that there are many issues that Laurence could have probed deeper instead of filling... Read more
Published on 23 Mar 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars A good old Canadian novel
The only thing true about that statement was the Canadian part. This book was one of the worst books I have ever read. Read more
Published on 2 Mar 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars A boring english assignment
I am a straight A student (grade 12) and a bookworm. When I got this book as an english assignment I figured it would be okay. I was wrong. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars A change from the typical hero story
I read this book for an English assingment and I thought it to be a change to broaden my horizen of how I look at life in general. It is a wonderful book. Read more
Published on 4 Dec 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely touching and realistic
I study in a private college in Malaysia, taking the OAC course. Laurence's book has touched me in a way that no movie or play ever will. Hagar is so realistic and... Read more
Published on 8 Nov 1998
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