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Writing (fictional) lives: the relationship between biography and fiction in the work of Carol Shields

  • Author / Creator
    Stafford, Amy
  • This thesis examines the intersections between biography and fiction in three novels and one biography by Carol Shields: Small Ceremonies, Swann, The Stone Diaries, and Jane Austen. By writing about biography and biographers in each novel, Carol Shields foregrounds the subject of biography and emphasizes its reliance on imagination and creative interpretation. At the same time, she stresses the deficiencies in the factual records of Jane Austen's life in her biography. Although biography is considered to be the more factual of the two genres, Shields establishes that only fiction has the power to portray people's inner lives, and that certain truths are therefore accessible only through fiction. Shields is especially interested in using fiction to recover the life stories of women, which have often been lost from historical record.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2009-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R39Q4D
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of English and Film Studies
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Stovel, Nora (English and Film Studies)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Demers, Patricia (English and Film Studies)
    • Penrod, Lynn (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)