Fonds includes professional and personal correspondence; the early drafts of all of Shields¿s books (except "Susanna Moodie: Voice and Vision"); manuscripts of unpublished works; manuscripts of book reviews, essays and short stories; Canada Council materials; clippings, interviews, posters, research materials for the Crestview Damaged Homeowners Association; university teaching records; Humber School for Writers teaching records; memorabilia, including old photos, diaries and daybooks, juvenilia and awards; interviews with Shields on video and audiotape, and the film reel, "The Orphans". These materials reflect the full range of Shields¿s activities as writer, critic, public figure, teacher, family member, as well as, reflecting her professional recognition and international popularity as an author.
This second accession of Carol Shields¿ papers touch on many aspects of her life during this period: providing a well-rounded insight into her activities as a writer, critic, public figure, teacher, Chancellor and committee member.
This accession contains a great deal of correspondence which attests to Carol Shields¿ dedication to personal life and acquaintance. She continues to be in contact with family members and close friends as well as a large network of Canadian writers. Her correspondence includes a large number of congratulatory notes and letters for her professional achievements which take their place alongside the more formal correspondence of her professional life. This accession includes early letters from Carol Warner to her childhood friends Molly and Jane which provide a glimpse of the buoyancy, imagination and playfulness of Carol Shields as a young adult, as well as her early interest in writing fiction. In this accession Carol Shields has also included early letters from her daughter Anne at a time when Anne was visiting Italy during the 1980¿s. Amoung these there is a letter where Anne expresses an interest in an annunciation painting: this interest is one which is shared by the character Beth, the second wife of Larry Weller in Larry¿s Party.
The second accession deals with Shields¿ roles as a writer, teacher of writing, Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg and Canada Council member. A distinct series for each of the universities which Carol Shields has been involved with as well as one for the Canada Council. The Canada Council material (Series V) covers a difficult time for the Council and chronicles budgetary restraint which resulted amoung other things in the closing of the art bank. As Council member and writer, Carol Shields fielded letters while lobbying the reinstatement of funding for the Writers¿ Union of Canada from a large number of Canadian writers. The University of Winnipeg material centers on Dr. Shields¿ tenure in the position of Chancellor from Oct. 1996. This material chronicles her installation to the position and the interactions and organizing of events within the University community which correspond to this role. The University of Manitoba material is divided into two sub-series: one for correspondence and related material for her professional life teaching at the University and a second for her teaching materials relating to the University of Manitoba. The teaching material includes her teaching notes and lecture outlines, alongside examinations and student feedback for her courses. A final special series was also created for the Humber School for Writers, where Shields was involved in teaching creative writing by correspondence: this involved critiquing the work of writers who display previous professional experience. The materials in this series provide a window on the intensely personalized level of comment and guidance which she devoted to these students. This level of detailed focus is unavailable in a large class setting and therefore can be contrasted with the teaching materials in the University of Manitoba series. The correspondence and attention to editing which she shows the participants¿ work provides further insight into Shields¿ generosity toward developing writers. Of the manuscripts, a bulk of these are from the novel Larry¿s Party and are arranged to approximate the order of their creation. Researchers should be advised that this order is not infallible but by and large represents the order they assumed during un-boxing. This accession also includes numerous reviews by Shields, speeches, essays and short stories which show her remarkable output during the time she maintained her public roles.
Shields maintains a continued interest in collaboration which recalls her former work with Blanche Howard. This accession contains papers from her collaboration with two of her daughters: with Catherine on the play Fashion, Power, Guilt and the Charity of Families and with Anne on a written dialogue ¿Are there Martians in Jane Austen?¿ which considers the portrayal of men and women in Austen¿s work. Also included are notes and typescripts from her collaboration with David Williamson on the play Anniversary. The translation agreements provide the researcher with an understanding of the breadth of the worldwide popularity of Shields¿ writing. Her patience and friendliness with Norwegian translator Ingrid Haug throughout their correspondence attest to Shields¿ appreciation for the amount of energy invested by other contributors. Shields¿ memorabilia in this accession is diverse. Her professional memorabilia include the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Literature Certificate and the National Book Critics Circle Award alongside the braille certificate for the 1995 TORGI award for the best talking book for the visually impaired. Again, in her memorabilia the emphasis on the professional is balanced by her emphasis on the importance of the personal. Momentos from her grandchildren take their place alongside such prestigious prizes: including momentos of the same grandchildren to whom Larry¿s Party was dedicated. Particularly poignant is the photo of Shields cutting the cord at her grandson Eli¿s birth. A diary is included from Inez Warner¿s honeymoon trip to England which will also recall elements of the plot of Larry¿s Party where Larry Weller¿s first wife Dorrie keeps a diary of their honeymoon in England.
Third accession predominantly contains records created between 1998 and the Shields¿ move to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2000. Included are: later draft material from Larry¿s Party; proofs and final production material for reprints of Shields¿ work; drafts and proofs for Jane Austen: a Biography; drafts for stories which formed Dressing Up for the Carnival as well as proofs for the collection; correspondence and manuscripts from Dropped Threads (a volume Shields co-edited with Marjorie Anderson); reviews written by Shields of the works of others; and copies of works by others for review or comment. Also includes: adaptations of Shields¿ works to film and opera as well as her own work on a script relating to the life of Susanna Moodie; correspondence with friends (including other Canadian writers) and family as well as professional correspondence with agent Bella Pomer, Canadian, American and British publishers; teaching and university documents; and clippings of reviews as well as publicity from awards and honours (the Orange Prize, Order of Canada), speeches and talks, publicity relating to appearances. Included is some research material from earlier works, particularly research on mermaids and the Annunciation which feature in The Republic of Love. Contains as well, documents from the 1980¿s for teaching, and drafts and research material that Shields had kept with her until this point and placed in boxes in preparation for her move to Victoria. Also included are notes, treatment book and writing related to Shields¿ treatment for breast cancer as well as her writing and speeches on living with cancer.
Fourth accession contains documents Shields was working on and received prior to her death in 2003. In particular, the accession includes: manuscripts and proofs for the novel Unless; drafts of the biography Jane Austen; manuscripts and other documents for editing the collections Dropped Threads I and Dropped Threads II; as well as collaboration on a film script based on the life of Susanna Moodie and drafts for a dance theatre piece titled ¿Mortality¿. In particular, there are early notes and notebooks for the writing of many of Shields works of fiction and poetry. Also included are: proofs and production material relating to reprints of Shields¿ work; proofs for the collection of Shields¿ plays (Thirteen Hands and Other Plays) and adaptations of her work to film and musical theatre (Larry¿s Party, The Republic of Love and Thirteen Hands). Contains substantial correspondence with publishers, agents and other business correspondence as well as continued correspondence with a vast array of friends, other writers, scholars and readers. In addition, the accession includes: files of Shields¿ essays and addresses; reviews by her of the work of other writers; press coverage and personal and professional memorabilia; as well as letters of condolence and documents relating to memorials for Shields.
Novelist, story writer, poet and playwright, Carol Shields (née Warner) was born in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois in 1935. She began writing at an early age, producing articles and sonnets for her high-school paper and literary journal. Shields studied at Hanover College, Indiana (B.A. 1957) and the University of Exeter in England. She married Donald Hugh Shields in 1957, a Canadian also studying in England. They moved to Canada and raised five children. Shields received her M.A. in English from the University of Ottawa in 1975. Shields taught at the University of Ottawa, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Manitoba, where she was a faculty member in the English Department until 1999.
Carol Shields¿ poetic works include Others (1972), Intersect (1974), and Coming to Canada (1992), though she is best known as a novelist. Her first novel, Small Ceremonies, won the Canadian Author¿s Association Award for best novel of 1977. Other novels include The Box Garden (1977), Happenstance (1980), A Fairly Conventional Woman (1982), Swann: A Mystery (1987), The Republic of Love (1992), The Stone Diaries (1993), Larry¿s Party (1997) and Unless (2002). Shields also co-wrote A Celibate Season (1991) with friend Blanche Howard.
Shields wrote short stories consistently for publication in magazines over the course of her career. Her stories were collected into Various Miracles (1985), The Orange Fish (1990) and Dressing Up for the Carnival (2000) and her Collected Stories was published in 2005.
Shields also wrote several successful dramatic works, including ¿Departures and Arrivals¿, ¿Anniversary¿ co-written with David Williamson, ¿Fashion, Power Guilt and the Charity of Families¿ co-written with daughter Catherine, and "Thirteen Hands" (1993) which premièred at Winnipeg¿s Prairie Theatre Exchange in 1993, and was co-produced by the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the Canadian Stage Company in Toronto in 1997. She collaborated on a script with Patrick Crowe on Susanna Moodie. Shields wrote a section of the dance theatre piece ¿Mortality¿ (other authors were Tomson Highway, Paul Quarrington and Stephen Dobyns) and she was working on a stage version of Unless at the time of her death in 2003.
With Marjorie Anderson, Shields co-edited Dropped Threads I (2001) and Dropped Threads II (2003): anthologies of stories and essays by women. Shields also wrote a biography: Jane Austen (2001).
Shields became the fifth Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg in 1996, a post she occupied until 2000. She was also a member of the Canada Council (1993-1997).
Early in her career (1970), Shields received the Marion Engel Award for a Canadian woman writer. She won a Governor General¿s Literary Award (1993), National Book Critics Circle Award (1994) and the Pulitzer Prize (1995) for The Stone Diaries; and was short-listed for the Giller Prize (1997) and won the Orange Prize (1998) and the Prix de Lire in France (1998) for Larry¿s Party. In 2002, Unless was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, the Scotia Bank/Giller Prize, and won the Ethel Wilson Prize for best British Columbia fiction of the year; in 2003 Unless was short-listed Fiction Book of the Year, Canadian Booksellers Association and for the Orange Prize. Shields was nominated to the Order of Canada in July 1998 and named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada that same year. She was named Chevalier dans l'ordres des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France in 2000, in 2001 she was awarded the Order of Manitoba, and in 2002 she was elevated to Companion of the Order of Canada, awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal and won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction for Jane Austen. She was named Canadian Booksellers Association Author of the Year in 2003. Unless was ranked in the top 10 of a list of Britain¿s all-time best loved books by women.
Carol Shields received honourary degrees from the University of Ottawa (1995), Hanover College (1996), Queen's University (1996), University of Winnipeg (1996), University of British Columbia (1996), University of Western Ontario (1997), University of Toronto (1998), Concordia University (1998), Carleton University (2000), Wilfred Laurier University (2000), Lakehead University (2001), University of Victoria (2001), University of Calgary (2001), University of Manitoba (2003) and Malaspina University and College (2003).
A Guggenheim Fellowship was awarded to Carol Shields in 1999. The Shields¿ spent the next year in England, allowing her to research Jane Austen and complete her final novel Unless. While in England, She visited the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and accepted an invitation to write a play for the SJT. As her health deteriorated, she asked her daughter Sara Cassidy to help her write the stage version ss. She died before it was finished and the work was completed by Sara. Unless: The Play was produced in Scarborough as well as in Toronto and Vancouver in 2005 and Victoria in 2006.
Shortly before her death, Shields was working on a novel which was published posthumously as the short story ¿Segue¿ in The Collected Stories (2005).
The Shields lived in Vancouver, British Columbia (1957), Toronto, Ontario (1958-1960, 1964-1968), Manchester, England (1960-1963), Ottawa, Ontario (1968-1978), Vancouver (1978-1980), Winnipeg, Manitoba (1980-2000), and Victoria, British Columbia (2000-2003). Year-long sabbatical leaves were taken in Saint Brieuc, on the north coast of Brittany, France (1976-77), Paris (1986-87), Berkeley, California (1993-94), and London, England (1999-2000). The longest period of residence was Winnipeg, the setting for The Republic of Love. They also maintained two holiday homes in France (first in Monjouvent, the Jura and second in La Roche Vineuse, Burgundy).
On July 16, 2003, Carol Shields died of breast cancer at home in Victoria.
Shields¿ work was adapted to stage and screen by her and by others. Her work was translated into many languages. She was also the subject of a Life and Times broadcast for CBC television (2001) and a film that aired on the BBC (2002).