Saturday, June 18, 2005


Quite recently (i.e., yesterday) I finished reading Carol Shields' Unless. What a wonderful and intelligent work of fiction. It was so well written, apparently worthy of the Pulizter. Additionally, it took place in Ontario around 2000-2002 and mentions parts of Toronto that I visited recently; I love that about Canadian literature (it makes me want to read more).

The content of the book was something to which I was cautioned I might not relate: a 44 y.o. woman dealing with concerns about her 19 y.o. daughter, her family, her friends and the novel she is trying to write. The content was not even remotely problematic. There was also an underlying theme of the role of women in the world and how they are still often marginalized. For those concerned about too much ?feminism,? this is unfounded. I, for one, usually have positive connotations to the word, but that could be because of my denotative tendencies.

A great book is one that contains those magnificent sentences that you just want to re-read because of the point expressed, the description of a situation/object or just the organization of language itself. This work has many such sentences. It was a pleasure to read, and now to recommend.

(addendum: As I was linking info about Shields I found out (or was reminded) that she passed away in 2003. Such a loss.)


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