Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Carol Shields  

Pen Name: Carol Ann Shields


Audience: Adult;

Born: June 2, 1935 in Oak Park, Illinois

Died: July 16, 2003 in Victoria, British Columbia

-- Website --
-- Carol Shields on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Shields was born in Oak Park.

Biographical and Professional Information

Carol Shields was a novelist, short story writer, playwright and editor. She is best known for her 1993 novel ''The Stone Diaries'', which won the U.S. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Governor General's Award in Canada. It is the only book to win both awards. She moved to Canada after marrying and later became a Canadian citizen. Shields taught at the University of Ottawa, the University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba and served as chancellor of the University of Winnipeg.


The Stone Diaries

-- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1995
-- Governor General's Award, Canada
-- National Book Critics Circle Award, 1994
-- Nominated, Booker Prize, 2003
-- One of the best books of the year, Publishers Weekly, 1993
-- Notable Book, The New York Times Book Review

Larry's Party

-- Orange Prize for Fiction, 1998


-- Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize '''Other Awards

Selected Titles At Your Library

A celibate season
ISBN: 9780007404681. OCLC Number: 711782637

Fourth Estate,. .

A celibate season /
ISBN: 0140275118. OCLC Number: 40862228

Penguin Books,. .

A husband and wife exchange vows of celibacy when she has to move to the other side of the country for a job. Over a period of a year they exchange letters, telling each other how they are doing. The setting is Canada.

Collected stories
ISBN: 0060762039. OCLC Number: 55877897

Fourth Estate,. .

A collection of short works features definitive pieces written throughout the course of the author's career, including the previously unpublished Segue, a portrayal of a sonnet writer who faces an unknown darkness.

Coming to Canada
ISBN: 9780773584631. OCLC Number: 897436486

Carleton University Press,. .

Departures & arrivals
ISBN: 0921368135. OCLC Number: 22279748

Blizzard Pub.,. .

ISBN: 9789462380875. OCLC Number: 951231365

. .

A week spent apart for a long-time married couple brings new and frightening experiences for each. Bewildered in a new city, Brenda struggles to cope. Meanwhile, at home, Jack's world falls apart; but while dealing with the crises around him, he learns something about himself.

Happenstance :
ISBN: 1306188881. OCLC Number: 865156724

. .

Two novels in one, Happenstance tells the story of a marriage from the individual perspectives of a husband and wife at a turning point in their relationship When we meet Brenda Bowman in The Wife's Story, the forty-year-old mother of two is preparing to fly to Philadelphia to attend a craft convention that will feature one of her quilts. She already has the flight memorized: leaving Chicago at 8:35, arriving at Philadelphia at 1:33. This will be her first trip solo, her first time away from her husband, Jack, in their decades-long marriage. She's nervous, excited ... and tempted when she meets an intriguing stranger. The Husband's Story introduces Jack Bowman, a historian who is left at home with his troubled son and overweight daughter while his wife, Brenda, attends a craft convention. Not used to coping on his own, he's suddenly confronted with domestic calamities, including the disintegration of his best friend's marriage. And when he learns that an old flame has published a book on the same topic that Jack has been laboring on for years, Jack's self-doubt reaches crisis proportions. Happenstance is an intimate portrait of a marriage in transition. History to Jack, is not the story itself. It's the end of the story.

Happenstance, the husband's story ; Happenstance, the wife's story /
ISBN: 0140179518. OCLC Number: 29869266

Penguin,. .

Two stories from a marriage in crisis: thewife's story and the husband's story. The setting issuburbia, the time frame a week spent apart. She goes toa quilting convention where she has an affair, he stayshome to mind the kids and discuss manhood with a friendwho has been abandoned by his wife.

Mary Swann
ISBN: 9789462380912. OCLC Number: 956924115

. .

Mary Swann is the story of four individuals who become entwined in the life of Mary Swann, a rural Canadian poet whose authentic and unique voice is discovered only hours before her husband hacks her to pieces. Who is Mary Swann? And how could she have produced these works of genius in almost complete isolation? Mysteriously, all traces of Swann's existence, her notebook, the first draft of her work, even her photograph, gradually vanish as the characters in this engrossing novel become caught up in their own concepts of who Mary Swann was.

Orange Fish :
ISBN: 1306188830. OCLC Number: 865157110

Open Road Media,. .

Winner of the Marian Engel Award: Passion, longing, regret, and transformation infuse these twelve tales by one of our most & ldquo;shrewd and skillful & rdquo; storytellers (Chicago Tribune) & ldquo;Milk Bread Beer Ice & rdquo; is a road trip shared by a husband and wife who no longer communicate through meaningful dialogue. Fifty-year-old & ldquo;Hazel & rdquo; is forced to enter an alien workplace after the sudden death of her husband. In & ldquo;Today Is the Day, & rdquo; the village women gather together for their annual ritual of planting blisterlilies. And & ldquo;Family Secrets & rdquo; travels to DeKalb, Illinois, and the First World War, as the narrator searches for a missing year in her mother & rsquo;s life ... and unearths a surprising connection to Ernest Hemingway. From a group of musicians who discover they share more than classical & ldquo;Chemistry & rdquo; to an unhappily married couple who may get a second chance, this remarkable collection, like the ageless orange fish of the title story, is filled with the wonder and magic of everyday life.

Small Ceremonies :
ISBN: 1306188849. OCLC Number: 865157050

Open Road Media,. .

What is the matter with me, I wonder. Why am I always the one who watches? Judith Gill lives with her husband, son, and daughter in a nice house in the suburbs of Ontario. She has carved out a niche as a respected biographer. Her universe is shaped and bounded by the lives around her, from her family to the subjects of her books. She finds herself in the background of her life, but she hungers to tell stories of her own. In this witty, nuanced novel about art, life, love, and fiction, Carol Shields reveals Judith to readers and to herself & mdash;a woman with bold emotions, powerful instincts, and a knack for observing the small ceremonies that give our lives meaning.

The box garden /
ISBN: 0140251367. OCLC Number: 32738614

Penguin Books,. .

A poet's struggle to make something of herself after her creative juices run dry. Although she has a son and a man who loves her, Charleen Forrest is still obsessed by the thought that she is a failure. The novel follows Charleen as she tries to sort herself out. By the author of The Stone Diaries for which she won the Pulitzer Prize.

The box garden :
ISBN: 148045981X. OCLC Number: 859447826

Open Road Integrated Media, Inc.,. .

[This is] the story of a woman dancing on the edge of a difficult life. Ever since her husband left her -- seemingly vanishing into thin air -- Charleen Forrest has supported herself and her fifteen-year-old son on what she earns as an obscure poet and part-time gofer for an even more obscure scientific journal. But when her estranged mother remarries -- prompting an unplanned reunion -- Charleen finds herself moving out of her familiar existence.--Page 4 of cover.

The collected stories
ISBN: 0679313273. OCLC Number: 58455337

Vintage Canada,. .

Now readers can enjoy all three of Carol Shields' short story collections - Various miracles, The orange fish, and Dressing up for the carnival - in one volume along with her previously-unpublished last story, Segue.

The orange fish /
ISBN: 0140152822. OCLC Number: 25840398

Penguin Books,. .

These twelve short stories portray middle-aged, middle-class women who feel alone and alienated. In the title story, the orange fish is a lithograph which changes the lives of its owners, those who possess the print offer testimony to what it means to them.

The republic of love
ISBN: 9789462380899. OCLC Number: 956553210

. .

MODERN & CONTEMPORARY FICTION (POST C 1945). Complications beset two shell-shocked veterans of the wars of the heart - Fay, a folklorist whose passion for mermaids has kept her from focusing on any one man; and right across the street there's Tom, a popular radio talk-show host who has focused a little too intently, having married and divorced three times. Only Carol Shields could describe so adroitly both a couple who fall in love as thoroughly and satisfyingly as any Victorian couple and the modern complications that beset them.

The republic of love /
ISBN: 0007166753. OCLC Number: 59304967

Fourth Estate,. .

The stone diaries
ISBN: 9789462380851. OCLC Number: 946486578

. .

Born in 1905, Daisy Goodwill drifts through the chapters of childhood, marriage, widowhood, remarriage, motherhood and old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her own role, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her own story within a novel that is itself about the limitations of autobiography.

The stone diaries /
ISBN: 0140238344. OCLC Number: 728679424

Penguin Books,. .

An aged woman discovers herself as she reflects upon her life in the 20th century.

ISBN: 9780735273719. OCLC Number: 974528363

. .

Reta Winters has many reasons to be happy: Her three almost grown daughters. Her twenty-year relationship with their father. Her work translating the larger-than-life French intellectual and feminist Danielle Westerman. Her modest success with a novel of her own, and the clamour of her American publisher for a sequel. Then in the spring of her forty-fourth year, all the quiet satisfactions of her well-lived life disappear in a moment: her eldest daughter Norah suddenly runs from the family and ends up mute and begging on a Toronto street corner, with a hand-lettered sign reading GOODNESS around her neck. GOODNESS. With the inconceivable loss of her daughter like a lump in her throat, Reta tackles the mystery of this message. What in this world has broken Norah, and what could bring her back to the provisional safety of home? Reta's wit is the weapon she most often brandishes as she kicks against the pricks that have brought her daughter down: Carol Shields brings us Reta's voice in all its poignancy, outrage and droll humour.--

Various Miracles :
ISBN: 1306188873. OCLC Number: 865156399

Open Road Media,. .

The small miracles of our day-to-day lives are on captivating display in this unforgettable collection by Pulitzer Prize winner Carol Shields Various Miracles brings together twenty-one short stories, modern parables that illuminate the mysteries of everyday existence. In the title story, four strangers on a bus are all reading the same book. In & ldquo;Fragility, & rdquo; Ivy & rsquo;s husband reflects on their marriage, the death of their young son, Christopher, and the plane ride that will deliver them to a new life. From & ldquo;The Metaphor Is Dead & ndash; Pass It On & rdquo; to & ldquo;Home & rdquo; to & ldquo;Others & rdquo; & mdash;in which a couple & rsquo;s act of generosity is repaid in annual Christmas cards with no return address & mdash;this collection is by turns witty, inventive, and moving. Whether portraying a violinist yearning to break free of overprotective parents or an elderly widow mowing her lawn to the thunderous timpani of memory, Carol Shields depicts the struggles of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. It & rsquo;s a world where magic coexists with reality, and where leaps of faith and acts of kindness create their own miracles.