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The Stone Diaries

by Carol Shields

Born in 1905, Daisy drifts through the roles of child, wife, widow, and mother, and finally into her old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her place in her own life, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her story within a novel that is itself about the limitations of autobiography.

Her life is vivid with incident, and yet she feels a sense of powerlessness. She listens, she observes, and through sheer force of imagination she becomes a witness of her own life: her birth, her death, and the troubling misconnections she discovers between. Daisy’s struggle to find a place for herself in her own life is a paradigm of the unsettled decades of our era.

Winner of the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

‘A kind of family album made into a work of art’ New York Newsday

‘There is little in the way of conventional plot here, but its absence does nothing to diminish the narrative compulsion of this novel. Carol Shields has explored the mysteries of life with abandon, taking unusual risks along the way.  The Stone Diaries reminds us again why literature matters.’ The New York Times

‘A triumphant and important book … I can think of few novels containing so much that is resonant and unforgettable, or that invite the reader to participate so fully and rewardingly.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Rapturous, sensitive and funny.’ Guardian

‘It is wonderful. A treat.’ Joanna Trollope


Book Club Notes
01 January, 1993

About Carol Shields

Carol Shields' novels include Larry's Party (1997), winner of the 1998 Orange Prize; The Stone Diaries (1993), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Republic of Love (1992); Happenstance (1991); and Mary Swann (1990). Dressing Up for the Carnival, a bestselling collection of short stories, was published in 2000, and a previous collection, Various Miracles, was published in 1994. Born and brought up in Chicago, Carol Shields has lived in Canada since 1957. She was the chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. She was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for the second time in 2002 with Unless.

Other books by Carol Shields


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