HOWARD, Allison




As the daughter of novelist Blanche Howard, Allison Howard edited A Memoir of Friendship: Letters Between Carol Shields and Blanche Howard (Viking, 2007) ISBN 9780670066131.

Penguin catalogue copy:

"A Memoir of Friendship is a revealing collection of letters between Carol Shields and Blanche Howard that follows the arc of a thirty-year friendship. They first met in the early 1970s at a time when both women were embarking on writing careers and raising their families, and were steadfast friends until Shields’s untimely death in 2003.

"Carol Shields started publishing poetry in her thirties and wrote her first novel, Small Ceremonies, in 1976. Over the next thirty years, she published more than twenty books and captured a devoted international following when The Stone Diaries won a Governor General’s Literary Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Shields also raised five children—a son and four daughters—with her husband, Don, and juggled motherhood and teaching with her desire to write.

"Blanche Howard, herself juggling motherhood and a professional career and already a published, award-winning author, quickly became Shields’s close friend and occasional collaborator. Their most well-known collaboration is the novel A Celibate Season, which Howard later adapted for the stage.

"A Memoir of Friendship is a rich and intimate portrait of a celebrated author, revealing a deep friendship between two women, their ambitions, and their history. Written with humour and insight, this window into the daily lives of Carol Shields and Blanche Howard explores their disappointments and joys, their thoughts on other writers and the craft of writing within the context of the current cultural and political scene."