Sunday, June 15, 2008

Small Ceremonies

Small Ceremonies (1976) is by Carol Shields, author of one of my favorite books, The Stone Diaries. If you haven't read The Stone Diaries, I implore you, get thee to a bookstore (especially if you're from Indiana). Although I like just about everything she's written, her other work hasn't wowed me like 'Diaries - until now!

Small Ceremonies is a short book, with chapters split by months (less than a year) of a woman's life. During this time, Judith, a wife, mother and author, grapples with a couple of life's mysteries (which I'll let you read for yourself). What I found so exciting about Small Ceremonies was how this woman, even though she's, you know, kind of old-ish, is still asking herself questions about her own art (writing biographies), discovering that deconstructionist truth that you can never really sum up a life in something so simple as words on a page (the same is true in Shield's book!)

With a strong feminist view, a lot of humor and a theoretical look at the art of writing, this intellectually stimulating book rivals that old favorite of mine (which won the Pulitzer Prize, if you need more convincing).

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Check. On my list. I loved The Stone Diaries as well. A lot.