Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth -- Introduction
Carol Shields was one of Canada's finest novelists. Born in the USA, she married a Canadian man and came to live in Winnipeg. She worked as an English professor at the University of Manitoba and afterwards was chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. Her novel, The Stone Diaries, won the 1993 Governor General's Award for Literature in Canada and also the 1995 U.S. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
One of her most beloved novels is Larry's Party, which won the 1998 Orange Prize for Fiction. Set in Winnipeg, the story recounts the life story of Larry Weller, described by Shields as an "ordinary man made extraordinary" by his unique talent for creating mazes and labyrinths.
I have enjoyed reading several of her books, especially Larry's Party. Carol Shields had amazing insight and perception into human nature. A committed feminist, she drew on her own deep understanding and experiences as a woman, wife and mother.
Carol Shields died of breast cancer in 2003 at the age of 68. Her loss was keenly felt right across the country but especially in Winnipeg, of course.
Tomorrow: Memorializing Carol Shields in Winnipeg