July 19, 2003 by

Carol Shields

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Categories: Writers/Editors

cshields.jpgCarol Ann Shields, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, died on July 16 of breast cancer. She was 68.
Shields moved from the U.S. to Canada in 1957 after meeting and marrying her husband, Donald Hugh. Fourteen years later, she became a Canadian citizen and started writing books about the lives of ordinary men and women.
“I don’t very often see decent people in novels. Some people don’t believe in them, but I do … I can hardly think of one novel where you read of a happy marriage. It’s not interesting, I suppose, and in this respect I think literature fails us,” Shields once said.
At the age of 40, Shields published her first novel, “Small Ceremonies.” She followed it up with 12 more books, including several collections of short stories and poetry.
Her novel, “The Stone Diaries,” won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1995 and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Booker Prize. She also received a Canada Council Major Award, two National Magazine Awards, the Orange Prize and a CBC short story award. In 2001, Shields wrote a biography of Jane Austen that won the Charles Taylor prize for literary nonfiction.

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