Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

What (Margaret Laurence)

You will find a bibliography here and below are some selected quotes from letters and her books:

Of course, this novel meant a lot more than it should have done, to me, as in a way it was (or became) a whole test of my own judgement – and luckily – I had got to the point where I knew that although it might not say anything to anyone else, it did say a lot to me, so perhaps really that was the true restoration of faith – I think so.
Letter to Adele Wiseman, 14 February 1963

Above the town, on the hill brow, the stone angel used to stand. I wonder if she stands there yet, in memory of her who relinquished her feeble ghost as I gained my stubborn one, my mother’s angel that my father bought in pride to mark her bones and proclaim his dynasty, as he fancied, forever and a day.
The Stone Angel 3

Interesting creatures, very young girls, often so anxious to please that they will tell lies without really knowing they’re doing it.
A Jest of God 11

…Jane Austen, the more I read her and think about her, was such a subtle and strong feminist. In them days! But those days, apparently so far back, are not so very different from our own. Is this not always the way?
Letter to Marian Engel, 12 January 1985

Well, really, all I want to tell you is just about my own personal experience. I mean, that’s all we can say for sure, isn’t it, our own personal experience.
The Fire-Dwellers 137

I drove out to the town one day, when I was visiting in Winnipeg. I went alone. It would have no meaning for anyone else. I was not even sure it would have any meaning for me. But I went.
A Bird in the House 190

… because I myself have to try to cope with Good and Evil in my own life and in my writing. These things are not simple, as you know. But to try to grapple with the most important issues, plus trying to create human individuals on the printed page – this is the real role of a novelist. You have seen this terrible and awfully responsible role and have taken it upon yourself, as few have. Do we really succeed? I guess not. But we keep on trying. You are among the few who see what we have to try for.
Letter to Timothy Findley, 8 January 1982

I mean to say – well – maybe this doesn’t sound too profound, but it seems to me there’s good and bad in all tribes. It’s your friends who count.
Jason’s Quest 185

The river flowed both ways. The current moved from north to south, but the wind usually came from the south, rippling the bronze-green water in the opposite direction.
The Diviners 3

I’ve never been able to force a novel. I have always had the sense of something being given to me. You can’t sit around and wait until inspiration strikes, but neither can you force into being something that isn’t there. Amazingly, the gift was given to me once again. One morning, in the spring of 1971, I woke up with a thought in my mind. I took a notebook out to the lawn and began to write a novel that I knew even then would be called The Diviners. It felt as though I had been waiting for it, and it had been waiting for me. I couldn’t write it fast enough.
Dance on the Earth 199

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