Witness: Carol Shields’ Happenstance and The Stone Diaries


The call for witnesses in The Stone Diaries resonates throughout Shields’ work: “Life is an endless recruiting of witnesses. It seems we need to be observed in our postures of extravagance or shame, we need attention paid to us. Our own memory is altogether too cherishing, which is the

Witness: Carol Shields’ Happenstance and The Stone Diaries2020-12-27T14:27:37-05:00

June 2019, In My Stacks


In which I stack equal numbers of books into piles and hope that nobody notices that I have maxed out the loans on my library card. But, I hasten to add, I am still reading from my own shelves too. Anyway, all of these are long-time shelf-sitters or TBR-list

June 2019, In My Stacks2019-06-19T17:52:40-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Mousse” (1980)


Mavis Gallant knew “fake news” when she saw it. “The picture is an obvious and mischievous fake, and it was with great reluctance that four reputable newspapers decided to run it.” In fewer than a thousand words, “Mousse” considers the status of a once-significant political leader whose position has

Mavis Gallant’s “Mousse” (1980)2018-02-08T19:32:22-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “A Revised Guide to Paris” (1980)


The first story in this Mavis Gallant reading project was "The Other Paris", the title story in her first collection. Therein, a young woman's dreams of Paris fell through (with her dreams of the romance she had imagined). Even after she became engaged to be married, Carol was weary of

Mavis Gallant’s “A Revised Guide to Paris” (1980)2017-12-12T10:29:43-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Dido Flute, Spouse to Europe” (1980)


Presented as the "Addenda to a Major Biography", noted to be nearly 1000 pages long, these three pages are not a typical short story. Readers are left to assemble their impressions of Dido based on fragments of a relationship which occupied only a fragment of her life from a relational

Mavis Gallant’s “Dido Flute, Spouse to Europe” (1980)2017-11-21T15:23:52-05:00
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