What are those life experiences that catch us by surprise, that haven’t ever been part of our discussions or readings because they lie beyond the limit of words or the courage and will to articulate? When Carol Shields and Marjorie Anderson began asking other women – friends, colleagues, family members - what experiences had amazed them, disappointed them, caught them unprepared, the responses were immediate. Many women reacted as though this question was something they had been...
What are those life experiences that catch us by surprise, that haven’t ever been part of our discussions or readings because they lie beyond the limit of words or the courage and will to articulate?
When Carol Shields and Marjorie Anderson began asking other women – friends, colleagues, family members - what experiences had amazed them, disappointed them, caught them unprepared, the responses were immediate. Many women reacted as though this question was something they had been waiting to be asked, for years. Silences had been observed – and needed to be broken.
Dropped Threads is the remarkable collection of reflective writings that emerged. The contributors are from a wide range of professions and lifestyles and their pieces are immediate, intelligent and revealing. Many names will be familiar: Margaret Atwood, Eleanor Wachtel, Bonnie Burnard, June Callwood, Marni Jackson, Sharon Butala. But there are also revelatory pieces from new voices, women academics, politicians, homemakers and lawyers who dare to pick up some of the dropped threads from the fabric of women’s communication.
A beautiful woven tapestry of perspectives on the silences that women still keep, Dropped Threads offers a community of voices that readers – not just women – will want to hear. Perhaps readers will, in turn, find the strength to examine the areas of surprise and silences in their own lives. – back cover of print version
MARGARET ATWOOD, JOAN BARFOOT, JANET E. BRADLEY, MARTHA BROOKS, BONNIE BURNARD, SHARON BUTALA, JUNE CALLWOOD, HONORABLE SHARON CARSTAIRS, CLAUDIA CASPER, JOAN CLARK, NINA LEE COLWILL, LORNA CROZIER, SANDY FRANCES DUNCAN, HELEN FOGWILL PORTER, KATHERINE C. H. GARDINER, ANNE GIARDINI, KATHERINE GOVIER, CHARLOTTE GRAY, ANNE HART, CAROL HUSSA HARVEY, BLANCHE HOWARD, ISABEL HUGGAN, MARNI JACKSON, ISLA JAMES, SUSAN LIGHTSTONE, KATHERINE MARTENS, JAQUELINE McLEOD ROGERS, LILY REDMOND, DEBORAH SCHNITZER, RENATE SCHULZ, MARGARET SHAW-MACKINNON, MIRIAM TOEWS, ELEANOR WACHTEL, ROSALIE WEAVER, BETTY JANE WYLIE.
It’s a collection of revealing essays and short stories by 35 Canadian women at mid-life and beyond, reflecting on the life events that caught them off guard and, somehow, haven’t been talked about…As it turns out, there are many dropped threads in our lives. Weave them together and you’ve got a tapestry.
Dropped Threads … is a collection of 34 pieces by Canadian women in which they describe…everything they never said or were not able to say before, but which had tremendous power in their lives…with gentleness and insight … These are all the conversations we would wish to have with friends and these essays stimulate the sense of exuberance and relief that one always feels after a long, self-revelatory talk.
Quill & Quire
There are exciting and truly intimate entries in this book…these women take ideas, even secret ones, and infuse them with poetry, scoured and buffed sentences and …stopwatch comic timing…The true depth of the collection is found in these women’s clear memories and their willingness to share.
Winnipeg Free Press
If the value of books were measured by the insights stored within their pages, Dropped Threads would be priceless… [This] is a wonderfully well-written and excellently edited book that offers such intimate insights that it sometimes seems like a stream of consciousness. The compositions frequently make the reader feel like an eavesdropper -- and an extremely entertained one at that…
Carol Shields (Born Carol Ann Warner in Oak Park, Illinois, May 16, 1935 - July 16, 2003) was an American-born Canadian author.
In 1956 while on a college exchange visit to Britain she met a Canadian engineering student, Donald Hugh Shields, in Scotland. The couple married in 1957 and moved to Canada, where they had five children and Carol became a Canadian citizen.
Carol Shields is the author of several novels and short-story collections. Her books have won a Canada Council Major Award, two National Magazine Awards, the 1990 Marian Engel Award, the Canadian Author's Award, and a CBC short story award. She was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998 and a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2002. Carol was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Order of Manitoba.
The Stone Diaries won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and Canada's Governor General's Award, the only book ever to win both awards. It was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the 1993 Booker Prize, and was also named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly and a "Notable Book" by The New York Times Book Review. She won the 1998 Orange Prize for Fiction for the novel Larry's Party.
Her last novel, Unless, was nominated for the 2002 Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award, the Booker Prize and the 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction.
Her biography Jane Austen won the 2002 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
Carol Shields is acclaimed for her empathetic and witty yet penetrating insights into human nature. Her works examine the lives of ordinary people, depicting a profound and universal humanity in even the smallest moments of her characters' lives.
Marjorie Anderson has a Ph.D. in literature and taught in the English Department and Faculty of Management at the University of Manitoba for twenty years. During that time she was awarded the University's Award for Excellence in Teaching and was chosen to teach in a number of international programs, including an MBA program in the Czech Republic. Now, through her company, Wordwise, she works as a communication consultant and professional editor. She is the seventh of eight children born to Isdis and Thorsteinn Anderson, Icelandic-Canadian fishers, farmers and storytellers who farmed in the hamlet of Libau, on the edges of Lake Winnipeg.