“I don’t think I would have been a writer if I hadn’t been a mother. I wanted to construct something that contained some of these feelings that I had, some of these discoveries or revelations.”
- Carol Shields
A few blogs ago I mentioned my discovery of the Canadian author Nino Ricci’s work. I had just embarked on reading his Lives of the Saints and was filled with bemusement that I hadn’t read it when it first came out in 1992. Friend Mreminded me that 1992 was a busy year for me; it was the year the Resident Teenager was born. He and his big sister kept me happily busy for the next while, and I was lucky if I made my way through a trashy magazine those days, much less a new work of literature.
It was Alice Munro and Carol Shields’ work that eventually brought me back around to reading. I think it was Shields who said the short story offered her a means of getting things written as she sat at the kitchen table with small children running around. Such was the case with my reading; the short story offered me a means of getting things read as I sat at the kitchen table with small children running around.
Back to Nino Ricci: I can recommend without hesitation his Lives of the Saints,which I devoured in a few gulps. Now I’m reading In a Glass House, number two of his trilogy. I’m taking it a little more slowly, finding it quite dark and painful. I’m waiting for Ricci to let some light in, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying his elegant prose, the strong characters.
With the holidays in sight, the children will be running around the kitchen table again. They’re quite a bit older, and I’m sure my need for short stories has altered, but it’ll give me a good excuse to curl up with some Alice Munro, should her new collection show up under the tree.
Or maybe I’ll follow Shields’ example and actually get a short story written…