Carol Shields is NOT Hard to Read!

All I can say is … Oh My God!! I stepped into the kitchen and all I heard on the radio was someone saying that Carol Shields was hard to read. And boy, did that ever set me off. So here’s the background to the whole situation. Canada Reads, the annual CBC competition to find the best fiction book in the country is choosing the “Book of the Decade” this year (an impossible exercise if you ask me, but nobody did). The best novel written in Canada during the past 10 years.  One of the finalists is Carol Shield’s book Unless. And someone actually said Carol Shields was hard to read. Everything else they said after that became white noise – I was so angry I just about lost it.  Let’s get this straight CAROL SHIELDS IS NOT HARD TO READ!!!! What are we becoming – dumb & dumber?? It really irks me to think that we’ve slipped so low on the literary screen that people now consider her hard to read. What’s happening to us?!  Boy, I wish I’d been on that panel to counter that opinion with some common sense. For heaven sakes … even Oprah is recommending Dickens!

Sorry for the rant… I really hope that no one pays any attention to that comment if they heard it. Pick up any Carol Shields book and read it. She won the Pulitzer Prize for The Stone Diaries (she had dual citizenship in Canada & the US that’s how she could win an American prize)… Larry’s Party is an amazing book where the main character is a man and she did an exceptional job with her research on how men feel and what they think about… Happenstance is a really neat story told in the first half of the book from a woman’s perspective, and in the second half from a man’s – same story, just different viewpoints… Swan and The Republic of Love are also wonderful books, and Unless, her last novel before she died, and the one someone on CBC said was hard to read, is probably her best. She was my favourite author, I miss her warm, quirky sense of humour that always shone through her exquisite prose that made you stop and think about what you’d just read. She was an amazing observer of human nature and she wrote about it exceptionally well. If you want to know more about her Google Carol Shields Literary Trust. There’s a wealth of info there to get you immersed in her writing.

Boy, am I ever angry!! Now, what was I doing…

Leave a Comment