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Pickle Me This

January 18, 2006

Since

I do love Carol Shields. First, Various Miracles is one of the best short story collections I’ve ever read. And her novels are really wonderful. I reread Small Ceremonies last spring, and was struck by much of Shields’ writing was about writing. I noticed this especially upon re-reading Unless, which in my way of the multitudinous superlative is the greatest book I’ve ever read. This book is about wifehood, mamahood, womanhood, but it’s also a how-to guide for aspiring novelists- it’s so much about language, words, names, how to write a sex scene (or at least how you will struggle to do so), how to occupy your characters, how to persist, the evils of the industry. Layers upon layers of richness.

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