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The Box Gardenby Carol Shields
Synopses & Reviews
The story of a woman dancing on the edge of a difficult life
Ever since her husband left her—seemingly vanishing into thin air—Charleen Forrest has supported herself and her fifteen-year-old son on what she earns as an obscure poet and part-time gofer for an even more obscure scientific journal. But when her estranged mother remarries, prompting an unplanned reunion, Charleen finds herself moving out of her familiar existence.
A dazzling counterpoint to Shields’s debut novel, Small Ceremonies, imbued with her scathing wit and dead-on observations, The Box Garden is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who finds transformation—and happiness—where she least expects it.
The novels and stories of Carol Shields answer a daunting question: What makes a life? Her characters, from the unforgettable Tom and Fay of The Republic of Love to the vivid characters of Shields’s short stories, are drawn so perceptively as to become real. Shields once wrote of “the way a human life drains toward one revealing scene”—and these novels and story collections capture entire existences.
Shields’s characters lead ordinary lives of extraordinary variety and emotional richness, crystallized by the precise eye of this award-winning fiction writer. Her great talents have been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize, Canada’s Governor General’s Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the UK’s Orange Prize, and many other honors.
About the Author
Carol Shields (1935–2003) was born in Illinois and settled in Canada, where she taught at various universities, finishing her academic career as chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. Her work includes novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and nonfiction, including a prize-winning biography of Jane Austen.
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