The Stone Diaries

Carol Shields' novel won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 1993.

Carol Shields

The Stone Diaries is the story of one woman's life; a truly sensuous novel that reflects and illuminates the unsettled decades of our century.

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. (From Vintage Canada)

The Stone Diaries won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 1993 and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995.

Carol Shields was born in Oak Park, Ill., in 1935. After graduating with a degree in history and education, she married a Canadian and moved to Canada. Shields had been writing for almost 20 years before her first big success, The Stone Diaries, in 1993. In 2019, her 10th novel, Unless, was named by the BBC as one of the 100 novels that shaped our world. Shields died in 2003 at the age of 68.

From the book

My mother's name was Mercy Stone Goodwill. She was only thirty years old when she took sick, a boiling hot day, standing there in her back kitchen, making a Malvern pudding for her husband's supper. A cookery book lay open on the table: "Take some slices of stale bread," the recipe said, "and one pint of currants; half a pint of raspberries; four ounces of sugar; some sweet cream if available." Of course she's divided the recipe in half, there being just the two of them, and what with the scarcity of currants, and Cuyler (my father) being a dainty eater. A pick-and-nibble fellow, she calls him, able to take his food or leave it.

From The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields ©1993. Published by Vintage Canada.

Interviews with Carol Shields

American Canadian writer Carol Shields discusses her prize-winning novel Larry's Party.

Carol Shields, an emerging writer

40 years ago
Duration 5:14
A young Carol Shields tells the CBC why her fiction revolves around modern, ordinary women.

Other books by Carol Shields

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