Collected Stories Hardcover – 5 Jul 2004
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‘Her perceptions are so quick, her style is so acute, that she can tack a breath to the page and skewer a thought on the wing. It is her speciality to isolate moments that remain distinct in the mind for years, perhaps for a lifetime.’ Hilary Mantel, Sunday Time
Shields is about the best we have, she does not just express what oft was thought; she snags the shadows of those thoughts, the thoughts we did not know we had. The effect – at once elating and visceral – feels like a conjurer pulling a handkerchief from your heart.’ Daily Telegraph
About the Author
Carol Shields’s novels include Unless (2003), Larry’s Party (1997), winner of the 1998 Orange Prize; The Stone Diaries (1993), winner of the Pulitzer Prize and shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Republic of Love (1992); Happenstance (1991) and Mary Swann (1990). Dressing Up for the Carnival, a bestselling collection of short stories, was published in 2000, and a previous collection, Various Miracles, was published in 1994. Born and brought up in Chicago, Carol Shields lived in Canada from 1957 until her death in 2003.
Top Customer Reviews
Particular favourites of mine were "Mrs Turner Cutting the Grass", a story of an ordinary woman with several extraordinary moments, "Absence" - a work I think of genius, and extremely clever too, and the two stories about the marvellous Meershank. I can really only thoroughly recommend them all - it's such a pleasure to read good quality - no, the best quality - prose in a time when we seem to be offered so much that is sub-standard by publishers. I hope other publishers will follow suit in raising standards!
I had to read as many short stories as possible for my university course and browsing the shelves of the local library thirty minutes before closing I came across this. Carol Shields. The name rang a bell but I couldn't quite place her. I'd certainly not read any of her novels. I decided to get the book out. I liked the cover (I've got a thing for autumn leaves in the way they remind me of cold autumn days - I'm very sentimental like that). Before I got this book out (it was hardback and my bag was already heavy) I decided to read the first short story to ensure lugging it home wouldn't be a waste of time.
I became instantly hooked by the story. It was different, experimental. It kept my interest and I was eager to finish this one story so I could run to my flat and sit down with the whole collection, devouring each story like a greedy woman with a box of chocolates.
The stories appealed to me because they were exquisitely written and of interest. Carol Shields finds interest in the mundane, painting something so ordinary and dull into something magical, a little miracle. All her stories have meanings, little twists at the end. They're touching but but don't lay the sentimentality on with a trowel.
After having taken this collection of short stories back to the library I headed to my local book shop and bought it. I couldn't be without it. Whenever I am bored or low I turn to it. It is my bible.
A good short story can knock you off your feet with its amazingness. Carol Shields has knocked me off my feet and I'm still struggling to stand six months later.