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

Unresolved: Shani Mootoo’s Polar Vortex (2020)

2020-10-07T15:23:29-05:00

The characters in Shani Mootoo’s fiction often carry a burden. Cereus Blooms at Night (1996) is a lyrical and painful story of reconciling past trauma with present-day understanding (and a personal favourite). In Moving Sideways Like a Crab (2014), one character believes that all they “learned about women and

Unresolved: Shani Mootoo’s Polar Vortex (2020)2020-10-07T15:23:29-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Scarves, Beads, Sandals”

2020-08-26T13:03:21-05:00

No need to debate the significance of the Oxford comma here—there’s no ‘and’ to stir the pot. One could easily mis-identify the story and add the conjunction. But this is not a story about a set of accessories. It is about a series of another sort. A series of

Mavis Gallant’s “Scarves, Beads, Sandals”2020-08-26T13:03:21-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Mlle. Dias de Corta”

2020-06-01T19:46:20-05:00

When Robert’s mother observes Alda’s signature and recognizes the pride and secrecy in its long loops and closed As, I think about the handwriting course that Mme Brounet took in Dédé. But I also think of Mavis Gallant writing long-hand and the hours she spent studying her own cursive

Mavis Gallant’s “Mlle. Dias de Corta”2020-06-01T19:46:20-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “By the Sea” (1988)

2019-10-23T15:35:51-05:00

“No one is either fully good or fully bad in a Gallant story; her characters are more interesting than that, Gallant is neither a moralist nor a polemicist,” explains Jane Urquhart in the introduction to the Penguin paperback edition of this 1988 collection of stories. In the opening story,

Mavis Gallant’s “By the Sea” (1988)2019-10-23T15:35:51-05:00
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