Carol Shields: Inspirational Quotes

Photography: Christopher Morris, 2001
Photography: Christopher Morris, 2001

I came across an old copy of the Canadian literary journal ‘A Room of One’s Own’ (dedicated to women’s literature) and found a moving tribute to Carol Shields written by her long-time friend and fellow writer Eleanor Wachtel.  Here are some excerpts that I found particularly inspiring.

About women’s literature

I’ve never for a minute doubted the value of women’s experience.  Whenever my books met with critical scorn because of their subject matter, I just shrugged. Other critical comments I listened to, but not that one.

About reading

Reading novels is not an escape; it’s a necessary enlargement of my life.

About living fully

…we have to use the time we’ve got to blurt bravely and get some words on paper and have lots of conversations with lots of people… Being interested.

About growing and developing

I never believed that people were formed at age seven and we’d never escape that inheritance.  I think people are always changing… and what changes them is access to language and their ability to expand their expression of themselves through language.

I think I would have liked to know her as a person. Luckily, we still have her books.

7 thoughts on “Carol Shields: Inspirational Quotes”

  1. You’ve got this Canadian swooning. I still miss Eleanor Wachtal’s radio show “Writers & Company” after 12 years abroad. And Carol Shields is one of my favourite authors.

    Would love to read the whole article.

    “Blurt bravely.” I love it.

    1. The whole story of her good humour and ‘humaneness’ during her battle with cancer is really touching and provides me at least with a good role model (were I ever to be in a similar situations).

  2. Oh thank you for this! Carol Shields has always been my role model. Long before I discovered writing was to become my life she was my favourite Canadian author. Eleanor Wachtel hosts some fabulous literary events in Toronto and I try to catch her whenever possible. I’m off to read the tribute now. Good find!

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