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Random Illuminations: Conversations with Carol Shields [Paperback]

Eleanor Wachtel

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Book Description

Sept. 21 2007

A great conversation can offer insight into the hearts and minds of its participants. In this intimate, wide-ranging collection of conversations (and some correspondence), writer-broadcaster Eleanor Wachtel and her friend, author Carol Shields, touch on both the personal and the professional.

Eleanor Wachtel first met Carol Shields in 1980; her first interview with Carol occurred in 1987, following the publication of Swann: A Mystery. They soon became friends, embarking on a correspondence and conversations that would last her almost two decades.

In this illuminating book, Eleanor Wachtel brings together her rich collection of interviews with Carol from that first occasion to Shields's death in 2003. Disarmingly direct, Carol Shields talks about her writing, language and consciousness, and her interest in "redeeming the lives of lost or vanished women," all the while touching on topics as diverse as feminism, raising children, the metaphorical search for a home, and the joys and griefs of everyday life.

Carol Shields is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Stone Diaries. She also won the Governor General's Award for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction, the Orange Prize, and numerous other awards. She was twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Goose Lane Editions (Sept. 21 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0864925018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0864925015
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #456,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"As rich and diverse and subtle as the most textured piece of literature, a logical and lovely reflection of its extraordinary subject." — Ottawa Citizen

"Smart, honest, insightful." — Joel Yanofsky, Montreal Gazette

"Insight into a gifted writer and remarkable human being." — Victoria Times-Colonist

Review

"Eleanor Wachtel is one of the very finest interviewers of authors I've come across anywhere in the world." — Kazuo Ishiguro

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some last words from Carol Shields Oct. 6 2007
By Mary Kirtz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When Carol Shields died in 2003, one of the finest voices speaking for the luminosity of ordinary human life was silenced. Hearing that voice again in these interviews reminds me once more of Shields' great empathy for and sensitivity to the average person's life journey, a journey she always rendered with kindness, humor, and keen insight in her novels. Wachtel is an excellent interviewer, asking good, focused questions rather than the usual fluff too often encountered in the interview format. She also provides us with a few letters written to her by Shields. If we cannot have another Shields novel, these interviews provide us with something almost as gratifying.

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