Carol Shields

by Yule Heibel on July 17, 2003

Carol Shields died on Wednesday night in Victoria after a five-year battle against breast cancer. “She took up writing largely out of frustration as a reader, saying she couldn’t find enough interesting books about women’s lives.” About her latest book, Unless, Constance Rooke said in the Ottawa Citizen‘s obituary that “‘It’s a book that has a great deal of feminist anger. […] Carol was aware that women generally suffer from diminution and invisibility in certain kinds of situations.’ Rooke said that because of the gentleness and tenderness in Shields’ books ‘there was the risk of her work being seen as just celebrating the quiet domestic life.’ But Shields needs to be understood as a feminist writer, she said, one who ‘suffered from the condescension that Jane Austen did.'” Amid the many international obituaries (including this excellent one in the NY Times), BBC published a brief excerpt from Unless.

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