Mary Swann

Mary Swann

Carol Shields

‘One of the best novels I have read this year. It’s deft, funny, poignant, surprising and beautifully shaped.’ Margaret Atwood

Mary Swann, a latter-day Emily Dickinson, submitted a paper bag of poems to a newspaper editor mere hours before her death at her husband’s hands. Works of genius can come from extraordinary places. A feminist scholar, a librarian, a biographer and a publisher all try to piece together the story behind her life and work in this teasing, inventive and beautiful novel.

Reviews of Mary Swann

    • ‘Quite excellent. Hers is a name to set beside those of Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro.’ Anita Brookner, Spectator
    • ‘A funny, compassionate, open-handed novel. A worthy British debut from a fine Canadian author.’ Glasgow Herald
    • ‘Formally ingenious and inventive, strikingly evocative of place, of character, of the world of things, capable of both comedy and tenderness, and above all beautifully written.’ LRB
    • ‘Clearly a work of an experienced and skilful writer. This is not only a first-rate read, it is also sophisticated and ingeniously crafted.’ Listener