The Orange Fish

Carol Shields, Author Viking Books $17.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-670-83327-6
Although a variety of well-realized voices animate the 12 stories in Shields's fine collection, they are all plainspoken and direct--the hallmarks of her sturdy prose. All stories except three are set in her native Canada; most have as protagonists people locked into themselves, suffused with nostalgia, regret, incommunicable longing--and sometimes fulfilled by flashes of communication and tentative hope. In several stories, ordinary people undergo metamorphosis: in the title piece, a couple who acquires a lithograph of an orange fish is suddenly accepted into a charmed circle; in ``Chemistry'' another group is bonded in a magical way by a shared interest; ``Hazel'' is a widow who acquires job skills and confidence and expects to take control of her destiny--only to discover that ``her life is an accident and she has blundered into the heart of it.'' The most distinctive story is ``Collision,'' which hinges upon the notion that the earth's atmosphere is composed of the ``biographical debris'' of everyone who has ever lived. Shields's narrative method is suggested in one tale as ``the way a human life drains toward one revealing scene.'' The author of the accomplished novel Swann should widen her audience with these perceptive tales. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 199 pages - 978-0-394-22118-2
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-101-17394-7
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-101-17211-7
Paperback - 64 pages - 978-0-14-015282-1
Hardcover - 199 pages - 978-0-394-22100-7
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4804-5961-8
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 208 pages - 978-1-4804-5979-3
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-1-4804-5985-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-1565-3
Show other formats
Discover what to read next