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Critical Praise

"Finely detailed, thoughtful and sometimes even humorous, this book is highly recommended for all fiction collections."

——Library Journal

"Shields's novels and short stories are intensely imagined, humanely generous, beautifully sustained and impeccably detailed."

——Publishers Weekly

"The Stone Diaries reminds us again why literature matters."

——New York Times Book Review

"Some hefty perceptions, fortunately shared with us in this fine novel."

——Washington Post Book World

"A wonderful, powerful book, written in a style which combines simplicity and elegance. I found it deeply moving."

——Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat

"With a poet's precision, Shields dissects grief and makes coping with bad luck feel like domestic heroism."


"A brave, profound, and quirky novel with an undercurrent of the deeply amusing."

——Anita Shreve, author of Sea Glass

"Relentlessly fine...imagined with style and vigor, melancholoy and wisdom."

——San Diego Union-Tribune

"Often quietly heartbreaking...often, bitingly humorous."

——Kirkus (starred review)

"A superb new novel...a graceful coda, an arabesque performed over an abyss."

——Time Magazine

"An engaging, memorable novel."

——Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A novel of...assured intelligence and defiant vivacity."

——San Francisco Chronicle

"Luminous ... Shields is a consummate master of tone and acute psychological insight."

——Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A luminous novel ...Shields writes with clarity, intelligence and generosity, finding meaning in most mundane details of home life."

——Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"When Shields is good she is very good. There are nuggets of pure gold in Unless."

——Newark Star Ledger

"All novelists worth their fictional salt can create fine characters; Carol Shields creates lives. "

——New York Times Book Review

"Nothing short of astonishing."

——The New Yorker

"The best of her novels...fearless, smart, funny, beautifully written."

——New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Remarkably subtle and of those books that make you regret that reading is a solitary pleasure."

——Christian Science Monitor

"A fine book, poignant, witty, rich in character, vivid in its sense of place...surprisingly suspenseful."

——St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A landmark book...yet another noteworthy addition to Shields's impressive body of work."

——Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Marvelously idiosyncratic, passionate and wise, Shields' tenth novel rollicks from beginning to end with sauciness and wit."

——Book Magazine