Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide

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GET THE BOOK

"The Stone Diaries" by Carol Shields

INCLUSION MILESTONES

1995

• Christopher “Superman” Reeves paralyzed; ultimately creates spinal cord injury research legacy
• Million Man March


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AUTHOR INSPIRATIONS

Born in a Chicago suburb, Shields became a Canadian. Her education in Indiana, Ottawa, and England is echoed in "The Stone Diaries." Married with five children. Prolific author and professor.

Featured Reader Wanted!

Featured Reader

– Share your key take-away about inclusion in this book in a sentence or two.
– Write a paragraph or two (up to 250 words) to describe your thoughts on exclusion/inclusion in the book, why you related or did not connect with the book, and why you think reading, inclusion and dialog about inclusion matter.
– Identify the name and website address of a cause you support with an inclusive mission.

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Family saga centered on stone-lover dad, gardener columnist daughter

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Teenager repairs ceiling crack and realizes it’s also possible to change herself and become kind, thoughtful, and a good listener.

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Family history focused on the women in the story, including a look at different ways women interpret and provide advice for an unwanted change in circumstance.

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Longish, but easy reading. 361 pages; 13.5 CD hours.

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DIY Attitude Makeover. Reinvention is possible.

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White characters, with the exceptions being the Black housekeeper devoted to a motherless child and a cameo appearance by Jamaican doctor characters “can’t discuss.”There’s weight-shaming: Daisy’s skinny father gets trash-talked about his size relative to his large wife.A younger Italian immigrant wife who doesn’t speak English disappears without a trace and no one cares. No one had the decency to ask the reviled “Old Jew” his name; he is a rescuer as well as a successful businessman. Mother-in-law provides swell counsel on how to set a table and not intimidate your husband. Canada painted as clean, boring, Christian, and healing.

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Malvern pudding and huge slabs of fresh bread with butter and sugar.

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“Question your assumptions, be kind to yourself, live for the moment, loosen up, pray, scream, curse the world, count your blessings, just let go, just be. All this advice comes flying in Mrs. Flett’s direction, but she’s too distracted to hear.”

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Bridge table, ideally one in retirement community. All required to do temporary name change to a flower moniker. Options: Daisy, Lily, Myrtle, Glad, Laurel, Rose, Jasmine, Violet, Poppy, Marigold etc. Use stones as well as flowers as décor.

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Why can destroying diaries and letters be a step toward metamorphosis?
How and why have you made a conscious change in yourself?
What transformations have you observed in others?
How can you encourage personal growth by someone you love?People you don’t know?
What would you want a biographer to say about you from an inclusion perspective?
The only time Daisy’s asked for meaningful advice she completely misses: “Have you tried not being gay?”What should she have said?

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Take the train from Ottawa to Bloomington, Indiana. Celebrate limestone month, which of course is in June, in Bloomington, Indiana. The Indiana Limestone Heritage Trail showcases the sources and uses of limestone. Be sure to check out the limestone buildings on the campus of Indiana University.
If the stoner tour is not sufficiently cool, learn about paleobotany in The Orkney Islands instead.

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Ugh. Planned movie version did not happen.

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Memorize Jane Eyre. At least the first page.Or first sentence.