Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Swann: A Novel by Carol Shields

I love this author and I had never heard of her before! I stumbled across her in an article about the origins of the Margaret Atwood novel, Alias Grace (fabulous book, by they way). The article was about true murders that occurred in Canada, which leads us back to this book.

Mary Swann is a 50 year old Canadian farm wife who writes poems that she sends in to the local newspaper. One of the few people in town that she associates with is the local librarian who tells Mary of a publisher who is looking for poems. Mary goes to meet the publisher and leaves with him a bag full of her poems which are written on scraps of paper. She then heads home to the farm where her husband murders her, dismembers her and then kills himself.

This story follows the 4 champions of Mary's career. The young female professor who 'discovers' Mary's small book of poetry; the retired newspaper editor who is Mary's publisher; a biographer who is planning a book on Mary and the town librarian.

Throughout the story, all evidence of Mary's work seem to be disappearing and each of the four had hidden secrets that reveal more than they know about Mary's work.

I really liked this book!!

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