Witness: Carol Shields’ Happenstance and The Stone Diaries

2020-12-27T14:27:37-05:00

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

Wyoming Stories

2020-09-30T14:33:19-05:00

Annie Proulx’s Bird Cloud (2011) immediately invites readers into Wyoming: “The blue-white road twists like an overturned snake showing its belly.” She describes the dust and the sage-brush and how it’s impossible not to think of “old ash-spewing volcanoes” as you move through Wyoming with its powdery soil. “The

Wyoming Stories2020-09-30T14:33:19-05:00

A Balancing Act, Ongoing

2020-01-23T13:49:33-05:00

Before I settled on some other reading projects for 2020 (more on that tomorrow), I entertained the possibility of making a simpler goal than usual: choosing half of my reading from my own shelves and half from the library’s shelves. The idea being that I have tended to read

A Balancing Act, Ongoing2020-01-23T13:49:33-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “A Flying Start” (1982)

2019-07-09T13:05:04-05:00

“All raise hands, please, who remember Rosalia. (Camera on studio smiles.)” You remember Rosalia, right? We met her in “A Painful Affair”, this collection’s fourth story: the dedicated servant of Miss Mary Margaret Pugh. Miss Pugh’s artistic patronage is not-yet-transpired in “Larry” (Larry is her half-brother), it’s an already-transpired-fact

Mavis Gallant’s “A Flying Start” (1982)2019-07-09T13:05:04-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Luc and His Father” (1982)

2019-06-19T16:10:55-05:00

Imagine a ribbon. Pinch a loop of it between your index finger and thumb. The small piece you grasp is where the story begins and ends, while in between recounting “the year of shocks”. We meet the Clairvoie family when son Luc has failed his course of study. Spectacularly

Mavis Gallant’s “Luc and His Father” (1982)2019-06-19T16:10:55-05:00
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