Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

"Purple Blossoms" - A Short Story by Carol Shields- Included in The Collected Short Stories of Carol Shields- 2004


"Purple Blossoms" - A Short Story by Carol Shields-8 pages- Included in The Collected Short Stories of Carol Shields- 2004 - 

This year, Buried in Print, a marvelous blog I have followed for over ten years,is doing a read through of the short stories of Carol Shields. I hope to participate fully in this event.

“Her stories have given me happiness, not just pleasure. They delight me at first by the clear and simple elegance with which they’re made. Then there’s something so bountiful and surprising about them, like the beautiful broken light of a prism.” —Alice Munro

The more I read in the stories of Carol Shields the more grateful I am to Buried in Print for turning me on to her work. There are sixty some stories in the collection,it is my hope to read and post on them all in 2024.

"Purple Blossoms" is the seventth story by Carol Shields I have so far had the great delight in reading.

Like all the previous stories "Purple Blossoms" centers around a literary work important to the central character.

"THERE IS A BOOK I LIKE by the Mexican poet Mario Valeso, who, by coincidence, lives here in this city and who, in the evening, sometimes strolls down this very street. The book is entitled Purple Blooms and it is said to resolve certain perplexing memories of the poet’s childhood. It is a work that is full of tact, yet it is tentative, off-balance, dark and truncated—and it is just this lack of finish that so moved me the first time I read it. I gave a copy of the book to my friend Shana, who’s been “going through a bad time,” as she puts it. People who meet her are generally struck by her beauty. She’s young, well-off and in excellent health, yet she claims that the disconnectedness of life torments her. Everything makes her sad. Lilacs make her sad. Chopin makes her sad. The thought of rain falling in a turbulent and empty ocean makes her sad."

There is an interesting plot which I will leave untold.

Another wonderful story.

The Carol Shields Literary Trust Website has an excellent biography


Buried In Print said...

Thank you for reading these stories Mel and for finding the moments of joy and comfort in them that I hoped you would find, as I do. They are quite the contrast with Alistair MacLeod's stories, aren't they. Both polished writers but different emotions prevail.

With this story, I found myself wondering if CS was thinking about specific books and/or authors, but I suspect she was being vague on purpose to allow us to imagine certain ones if we so desired.

One passage I flagged was this: "The denseness, the compaction of the closed text and the assertive angle with which it rests on the table suggest to me that she has not yet opened its pages." You recognise the untouchedness of the book, like you've eyed a book you've given to someone that you KNOW they did not read! heheh

Mel u said...

Buried in Print- 3 months ago I had never heard of Carol Shields- now she is on my read everything list