Statement from Mayor Glen Murray - Re: Carol ShieldsWINNIPEG - July 17, 2003 - I am deeply saddened by the news today that our community and this country have lost an extraordinary woman, a brilliant mind, a gifted storyteller, a valued educator, and a committed wife and mother.
Carol Shields passed away last night from breast cancer complications after fighting a courageous battle. She was 68.
This loss is particularly difficult to process, because Carol still had so much more to offer society. There were many more books she had inside her that needed to be written. There was so much more we could learn from her. Carol Shields is a national treasure. She was also a personal friend whose advice, insight and concern for our community made her friendship invaluable.
My heartfelt sympathies go to Carol's husband, Don Shields, who served our community as dean of engineering at the University of Manitoba, and to Carol's five adult children. May fond memories of your lives together bring you a quiet sense of serenity and peace in the hours of your grief. Countless Canadians share your loss.
We are honoured to have had a Pulitzer Prize and Governor General's Award-winning author live and teach among us. I am certain that hundreds of Carol's former students from the University of Manitoba will now be pulling out their old copies of Carol's novels, plays, and poems. I hope in reading her words again, they will reacquaint themselves with her sensitive nature, her bold expression and imagination, and her finely tuned attention to the intricate details of life.
I am pleased that Carol's memory will continue to be honoured in Winnipeg through the Carol Shields Book Award. I named this award to honour an emerging writer of great promise each year at the Winnipeg International Writers' Festival. As Carol's novels were often set in Winnipeg, this award is given to a writer whose story references Winnipeg or is set in this great city. I hope the award will inspire many others to dedicate their lives to the observation and literary expression of humanity.
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