Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Governor-General's Award, and short-listed for the Booker Prize. 'The Stone Diaries' is the story of one woman's life, a truly sensuous novel which reflects and illuminates the unsettled decades of our century. Repackaged as part of the Perennial fiction promotion. This ...
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Governor-General's Award, and short-listed for the Booker Prize. 'The Stone Diaries' is the story of one woman's life, a truly sensuous novel which reflects and illuminates the unsettled decades of our century. Repackaged as part of the Perennial fiction promotion. This is the story of Daisy Goodwill, from her birth on a kitchen floor in Manitoba, Canada, to her death in a Florida nursing home nearly ninety years later. Through Daisy's life, Shields reflects and illuminates the unsettled decades of our century in this rich and poignant novel.
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Carol Shields wrote this autobiographical fiction that reflects the life of Daisy Goodwill from her tragic birth to her sad death through diaries and letters. Daisy, as well as the many other characters who hover around her, is lonely, trying to figure out what she can do with her life, what could bring her happiness and satisfaction. The reader is brought into her world, a world that has probably been that of many other women of the time, through opinions and events that construct her character of a typical woman of the beginning of the century frustrated to have no other purpose than motherhood. While she does not find her life's purpose in working as a journalist, she grows and develops into an accomplished and remembered woman who mirrors, to the reader, the reality and difficulty of trying to find a voice and a place in a society just starting to consider women as independent individuals capable of more than simply cooking, cleaning and caring for others (read: men). Beautifully written, Shields' novel is touching, easy to read and her characters are more than realistic; the reader rapidly becomes a part of the family as he/she reads the diary and the letters and the characters reminded me of people I know, of personalities I've encountered, of life issues I have had to deal with as life went by. The Stones Diaries won the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 1995 and remains, to this day, a classic of Canadian Literature and of Women Literature.
Publishers Weekly, 1993-12-13 Canadian writer Shields's novels and short stories ( Swann ; The Republic of Love , etc.) are intensely imagined, humanely generous, beautifully sustained and impeccably detailed. Despite rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, she has yet to achieve an audience here; one hopes this latest effort, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, will be her breakthrough. It is at once a playful sendup of the art of biography and a serious exploration of the essential mystery of human lives; the gist of this many-faceted story is that all biographies are only versions of the facts. Shields follows her heroine, Daisy Goodwill Hoad Flett, from her birth--and her mother's death--on the kitchen floor of a stonemason's cottage in a small quarry town in Manitoba through childhood in Winnipeg, adolescence and young womanhood in Bloomington, Ind. (another quarry town), two marriages, motherhood, widowhood, a brief, exhilarating career in Ottawa--and eventually to old age and death in Florida. Stone is the unifying image here: it affects the geography of Daisy's life, and ultimately her vision of herself. Wittily, ironically, touchingly, Shields gives us Daisy's version of her life and contrasting interpretations of events from her friends, children and extended family. (She even provides ostensible photographs of Daisy's family and friends.) Shields's prose is succint, clear and graceful, and she is wizardly with description, summarizing appearance, disposition and inner lives with elegant imagery. Secondary characters are equally compelling, especially Daisy's obese, phlegmatic mother; her meek, obsessive father, who transforms himself into an overbearing executive; her adoptive mother, her stubborn father-in-law. Readers who discover Shields with this book can also pick up a simultaneously published paperback version of an early first novel, Happenstance . Author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2006-11-06 Any performer has her work cut out for her when a novel takes place in several settings with inhabitants possessing distinctive regional accents. Shield's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel takes the listener from the plains of central Canada to Bloomington, Ind., and the Orkney Islands. Botsford is an excellent performer with a smooth and easy-to-listen-to reading voice, but she doesn't have a gift for imitating linguistic variations. The women of Daisy's Bloomington circle have Southern lilts worthy of Gone with the Wind. Readers would expect the voices of this coterie to age as Daisy does, but no accommodation is made for this possibility. Within each locale the voices are quite distinct, though the voice of Daisy, the center of the novel, stands out least of all, appropriately enough, for in this work we see her life through the eyes of others. This is an important and deft novel and it's about time that it was recorded, even in this overly abridged version. Shields's writing still makes this worth a listen. Available as a Penguin paperback. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1995-03-13 An aged woman discovers herself as she reflects upon her life, which spans much of the 20th century. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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