56 Startle and Illuminate
When Carol Shields died in 2003, she left behind a wealth of material on the craft of writing. She was unfailingly encouraging of other writers, sharing, “Write to the point of exhaustion, not past it.” Startle and Illuminate has been drawn by her daughter and grandson from decades of correspondence, essays, notes and lectures. With Shields’ trademark vision and humour, she reveals her thoughts on why we read and why we write. What keeps a reader turning the pages? How do you know when your work is done? Anne Giardini, Shields’ daughter, is an author in her own right. Nicholas Giardini had a rare chance to know his grandmother better, spending hours in archives and poring over letters and notes. Their work is a gift for us all.