I’m on the final pages of A Memoir of Friendship, the letters of Carol Shields and Blanche Howard, and I’ve found it enthralling. This is the first time I’ve read a collection of real-life letters. I’m going to do more of it — it’s such an intimate view of the writer.

From a novel, you might glean information on an author’s values or opinions, but you don’t actually know what type of person she is. Whether she invites her great-aunt over for tea, or whether she kicks stray kittens. (Carol Shields and Blanche Howard would both fit firmly into the first category.)

Once finished with this book, I have two resolutions. To reread A Celibate Season, and to read more letters.

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