Discussing Startle & Illuminate: Carol Shields on Writing with host Marjorie Anderson. Co-presented by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival as part of our collaborative Spring Literary Series.
Startle and Illuminate is the best possible guide to the writing process, from conception to publication, as related in the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carol Shields. This work, drawn by her daughter and grandson from her voluminous correspondence with other writers, essays, notes, comments, criticism and lectures, is a last gift from one of our finest novelists meant for both aspiring and established writers. It helps answer some of the most fundamental questions about writing: such as, why we write at all, whether writing can be taught, what keeps a reader turning the pages, and how a writer knows when a work is done.
For Shields’s devoted readers, Startle and Illuminate reveals her own thoughts on why we read–to be the other, to touch and taste the experience of the other; and why we write–for the joy of the making, to reimagine our world, to discover patterns and uncover forms that echo our realities as well as interrogate them, to imagine alternate worlds. It is a beautiful legacy.