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A Memoir of Friendship: The Letters Between Carol Shields & Blanche Howard Hardcover – Apr 10 2007


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Hardcover, Apr 10 2007
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Canada; 1 edition (April 10 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670066133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670066131
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 14.7 x 5.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 930 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 27 2011
This book was loaned to me by a friend who had recommended it over coffee a couple of months ago. All he said at the time was that as a collection of letters, it offered some very unique insights into the life and times of the Canadian writer, the late Carol Shields. As I am not a great fan of letters as a literary genre and not being overly impressed with Shields' work as a novelist, I took this voluminous book and placed it on a shelf in my study reserved for distant future reads. Well, I finally got around to reading it this week, and what a wonderful surprise! In the space of over three hundred pages covering thirty years, Shields and Howard reveal some very rich and dynamic qualities of their enduring friendship. One, they seemed to care enough about each other's writing experiences to be forever inquiring after them. Two, they came across as very humble people who enjoyed reading, writing and critiquing about some of the great adventures, mysteries and controversies of life. Three, the many letters between these two writers spilled out into their private lives in genuinely personable ways. Both liked to travel and meet famous people; both were married to self-absorbed men who still managed to find time to encourage their literary pursuits; and both suffered through the often lonely ordeal of facing death from opposite ends: one as the dying, the other as the friend. The letters ooze with moments of triumph, sorrow, fear, and creative reflection. This body of writing also provides some very intriguing insights into Canadian life in the eighties and nineties as Canadian women became more actively established as writers in the mould of Atwood, Calwood, and Munro. If these two are anything to go by, women certainly came into their own during this period by charting their own course through life. Great read!
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A Memoir of Friendship -- the thirty-year exchange of letters between two writers and two friends -- is a treasure trove for any lover of the written word, providing compelling and intimate glimpses into the inner lives of these two prominent and much loved writers, through good times...and difficult ones. I couldn't put it down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Boring read July 22 2010
By ihath - Published on Amazon.com
I expected a few insights about writing, the life of a writer ...etc . Instead it full of niceties and mundane exchanges. Total waste of time.

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