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.
I don't use the word "lovely" very often, but this is. These are. Something. You get what I'm saying. I bought this collection a few years ago because it was on sale and was called "Collected Stories" (more bang for my buck!), and I nearly culled it from my shelves last month, to make room for other books, because while I still like Collected Stories, I wasn't sure if I would like Carol Shields. She's Canadian, isn't she? Isn't that a synonym for boring? Non-violent, non-Southern, no ...more
A writer's triumph
New collection showcases Shields' tremendous talent
Jenny Shank, Special to the News
Published February 18, 2005 at midnight
Of the three great contemporary Canadian fiction writers - Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Carol Shields - Shields is probably the most obscure to American audiences. That is, if anyone who has won a Pulitzer Prize - as the American-born Shields did in 1995 for Stone Diaries - can be called obscure.
While The New Yorke ...more
In "Soup du Jour" a little boy is sent to the store to get something...he can't remember what. "He freezes, hugs the points of his elbows, thinking hard, bringing the whole of his ten years into play...." And then he remembers: "At that mome ...more
I've read and enjoyed all the collected stories of Carol Shields. She is perhaps more known for her novels, but I think it is in her short fiction where her skill truly shines. S ...more
“Mirrors,” is a story about a husband and a wife who have forsworn mirrors in their ...more
Reviewed by Philippa Jamieson
So you think short stories aren't your thing? Have you ever tried Carol Shields? She is better known for her novels, like The Stone Diaries, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, but these stories are so thoughtful, exquisite and haunting that it's easy to keep turning the pages. This chunky paperback brings together Shields' three short story collections, plus ...more
Compared to the other books I've been reading, these stories were very down-to-earth, although Shields does have a few amusing jaunts into magical realism. I liked how there wasn't something that had to h ...more
I would definitely recommend this book to others.
Shields, a critically acclaimed Canadian writer who died in 2003, was best known for fictionalizing the lives of women. In this collection she shows her wider range. Most critics recommend these stories for any Shields fan and as a starting point for new readers. Only The New York Times Book Review described her work as "sometimes mannered linguistic musings" that "conjure up a very writerly writer honing her technical and theoretical skills and paying little attention to conventions of plot and...more
Very few had a plot or even central conflict. It's more like you're a fly and you buzz in and out of homes to witness snippets of life happening all over space and time.
Many of the characters are middle-aged, often divorced or in unhappy marriages (sometimes just co-habituating) and/or there has been infidelity in the relationships.
Some of the stories are peculiar, making me wonder if I totally missed the point once I got to the end. Perhaps I did, as I raced thro ...more
Probably best known for The Stone Diaries, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, I think she was enormously gifted at the short story form. With it, she achieved amazing insights into (mostly) the lives of women, though she's an equal-opportunity inspector. I highly recommend her to those of you looking for new ways to work with this form, or for people who just want a little nugget to thi ...more
I liked best the short stories from "Various Miracles"; from "The Orange Fish" I really liked only the first one. "Dressing Up For Carnival" stands somewhat in the middle.
All in all a fresh and simple style that I enjoyed.