Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1998 Women's Prize for Fiction Winner

Larry's Party by Carol Shields


Publisher: Harper Collins

Length: 352

About: 20 years of modern manhood

Style: 3rd person

Where: Canada (Toronto, Winnipeg, US (Chicago) & England

When: 1977-97



Publisher’s synopsis:

A novel which sets out to illustrate how men have changed, and how masculinity is defined in a post-feminist world. It covers the life of a man from 1977, when he was 27 years old, to 1997, and two strands run through the book: work and goodness.





Dorrie kept wanting him to buy a khaki trenchcoat, but he doesn't need one, not with his Harris tweed. You don't want bulk when you're walking along. He walks a lot. It’s when he does his thinking. He hums his thoughts out on the air like music; they've got a disco beat; My name is Larry Weller. I'm a floral designer, twenty-six years old, and I'm walking down Notre Dame Avenue, in the city of Winnipeg, in the country of Canada, in the month of April, in the year 1977, and I'm thinking hard. About being hungry, about being late, about having sex later on tonight. About how great I feel in this other guy’s Harris tweed jacket.






This triumphant novel runs in delicious counterpoint to Shields' evocation of Daisy Goodwill's life in the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Stone Diaries.... The novel glows with Shields' unsentimental optimism and her supple command of a sweetly ironic and graceful prose.

Publishers Weekly




Not so good:

I hated "The Stone Diaries" but was intrigued by its success and critical acclaim, and read her later novel "Larry's Diary." If anything it was worse, but whereas with "The Stone Diaries" I could perhaps say it was a "marmite" book - and probably not written for a male audience at all - "Larry's Party" protagonist was male, but Shields' didn't get anywhere close to the male psyche, and the book was both boring and unbelievable

written by Adrian Slatcher see blog here.





About the author

Carol Shields (June 2, 1935 – July 16, 2003) was born and grew up in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. She was the third child of a sweet-factory manager and a schoolteacher.

After Hanover College, Indiana, she won a place on an exchange programme with Exeter University. There she found a more academic atmosphere, in which she thrived, and a Canadian engineering graduate student, whom she subsequently married.

Over the next ten years or so she moved around Canada with her husband, had five children, came back to England (Manchester) for three years, and wrote the occasional short story.


LAST          NEXT


<1997> -  <1999>





















Page turner







Age guide: 12+



Novels by same author:

  • Small Ceremonies, 1976
  • The Box Garden, 1977 (Later published in a joint edition with Small Ceremonies as Duet)
  • Happenstance 1980
  • A Fairly Conventional Woman, 1982 (Later published as a joint edition with Happenstance as Hapenstance.
  • Mary Swann 1987 (UK title: Mary Swann)(Arthur Ellis Award for Best Canadian Mystery, 1988)
  • A Celibate Season 1991 (with Blanche Howard)
  • The Republic of Love 1992
  • The Stone Diaries, 1993 (winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
  • Unless 2002



In 2001, it was adapted into a musical by Richard Ouzounian and Marek Norman, which starred Brent Carver as Larry. It had its premiere at CanStage in Toronto, Ontario.





2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here


Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
© Prize Winning Fiction