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
In the first week of Covid-19 lockdown, I pulled The Box Garden off the shelf, opened it to read: “That there are no certainties in life. That we change hourly or even from one minute to the next, our entire cycle of being altered, our whole selves shaken with
We’re more than halfway through the month of #MARM and today is Margaret Atwood’s 80th birthday. Naomi and I are supposed to be deep into discussions about The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments (her spoiler-free launch of The Ts discussion is here). But I’ve still got my head in
Runaway readers cannot run away from the book after turning the final page. Instead, they have to burrow in. Much like "Vandals" in 1994's Open Secrets and the title story in 2012's Dear Life, "Powers" is one of those closing stories that sends readers rushing back to the beginning.
McClelland & Stewart, 2004 This story has long been my favourite in this collection, although I could not recall which of them it was, when I first approached my reread of Runaway. When Stratford appeared in the first story, I thought maybe my favourite was coming. But, no,