Unless (Paperback)

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Forty-four-year-old Reta Winters, wife, mother, writer, and translator, is living a happy life until one of her three daughters drops out of university to sit on a downtown street corner silent and cross-legged with a begging bowl in her lap and a placard round her neck that says "Goodness."

The final book from Pulitzer Prize-winner Carol Shields, Unless is a candid and deeply moving novel from one of the twentieth century's most accomplished and beloved authors.

Praise For…

“A landmark book...yet another noteworthy addition to Shields’s impressive body of work.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A brave, profound, and quirky novel with an undercurrent of the deeply amusing.”
-Anita Shreve, author of Sea Glass

“A wonderful, powerful book, written in a style which combines simplicity and elegance. I found it deeply moving.”
-Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat

“Finely detailed, thoughtful and sometimes even humorous, this book is highly recommended for all fiction collections.”
-Library Journal

“Often quietly heartbreaking...often, bitingly humorous.”
-Kirkus (starred review)

“Marvelously idiosyncratic, passionate and wise, Shields’ tenth novel rollicks from beginning to end with sauciness and wit.”
-Book Magazine

“All novelists worth their fictional salt can create fine characters; Carol Shields creates lives. ”
-New York Times Book Review

“A thing of beauty—lucidly written, artfully ordered, riddled with riddles and undergirded with dark layers of philosophical meditations.”
-Los Angeles Times

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

“A superb new novel...a graceful coda, an arabesque performed over an abyss.”
-Time Magazine

“Some hefty perceptions, fortunately shared with us in this fine novel.”
-Washington Post Book World

“The best of her novels...fearless, smart, funny, beautifully written.”
-New Orleans Times-Picayune

“A fine book, poignant, witty, rich in character, vivid in its sense of place...surprisingly suspenseful.”
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Remarkably subtle and unsettling...one of those books that make you regret that reading is a solitary pleasure.”
-Christian Science Monitor

“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

“A novel of...assured intelligence and defiant vivacity.”
-San Francisco Chronicle

“When Shields is good she is very good. There are nuggets of pure gold in Unless.”
-Newark Star Ledger

“An engaging, memorable novel.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Relentlessly fine...imagined with style and vigor, melancholoy and wisdom.”
-San Diego Union-Tribune

“Closely observed moments create the kind of subtle textures and elegant prose that won Ms. Shields the Pulitzer Prize.”
-Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Unless succeeds beautifully...Shields [is] an expert at illuminating the complicated dynamics of off-kilter families.”
-Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A fitting farewell from an author revered for her graceful, insightful writing...sparkles with wry humor and elegant irony.”
-Hartford Courant

“Truly, a miracle of language and perception.”
-The Oregonian (Portland)

“All the trademark Shields delights are robustly present: idiosyncratic plotting; limber prose...deep compassion...tart commentary and irreverent wit.”
-Orlando Sentinel

“Entirely satisfying… Shields’ voice, tender and moderated at all times, remains wise and very readable.”
-Houston Chronicle

“Shields’s novels and short stories are intensely imagined, humanely generous, beautifully sustained and impeccably detailed.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Nothing short of astonishing.”
-The New Yorker

“A raw, subtle, inspiring novel about feminism, femininity, virtue, oppression and motherhood...I was inexpressibly moved by it.”
-Rachel Cusk, Daily Telegraph (London)

“Her wisdom and generosity of spirit are visible at every turn.”
-London Times (Sunday)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060874407
ISBN-10: 0060874406
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2006
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: P.S.