The Stone Angel : A Manawaka Cycle Novel

The Stone Angel : A Manawaka Cycle Novel

Book - 1993
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The Stone Angel, The Diviners, and A Bird in the House are three of the five books in Margaret Laurence's renowned "Manawaka series," named for the small Canadian prairie town in which they take place. Each of these books is narrated by a strong woman growing up in the town and struggling with physical and emotional isolation.

In The Stone Angel, Hagar Shipley, age ninety, tells the story of her life, and in doing so tries to come to terms with how the very qualities which sustained her have deprived her of joy. Mingling past and present, she maintains pride in the face of senility, while recalling the life she led as a rebellious young bride, and later as a grieving mother. Laurence gives us in Hagar a woman who is funny, infuriating, and heartbreakingly poignant.

"This is a revelation, not impersonation. The effect of such skilled use of language is to lead the reader towards the self-recognition that Hagar misses."—Robertson Davies,New York Times

"It is [Laurence's] admirable achievement to strike, with an equally sure touch, the peculiar note and the universal; she gives us a portrait of a remarkable character and at the same time the picture of old age itself, with the pain, the weariness, the terror, the impotent angers and physical mishaps, the realization that others are waiting and wishing for an end."—Honor Tracy,The New Republic

"Miss Laurence is the best fiction writer in the Dominion and one of the best in the hemisphere."—Atlantic

"[Laurence] demonstrates in The Stone Angel that she has a true novelist's gift for catching a character in mid-passion and life at full flood. . . . As [Hagar Shipley] daydreams and chatters and lurches through the novel, she traces one of the most convincing—and the most touching—portraits of an unregenerate sinner declining into senility since Sara Monday went to her reward in Joyce Cary'sThe Horse's Mouth."—Time

"Laurence's triumph is in her evocation of Hagar at ninety. . . . We sympathize with her in her resistance to being moved to a nursing home, in her preposterous flight, in her impatience in the hospital. Battered, depleted, suffering, she rages with her last breath against the dying of the light. The Stone Angel is a fine novel, admirably written and sustained by unfailing insight."—Granville Hicks,Saturday Review

"The Stone Angel is a good book because Mrs. Laurence avoids sentimentality and condescension; Hagar Shipley is still passionately involved in the puzzle of her own nature. . . . Laurence's imaginative tact is strikingly at work, for surely this is what it feels like to be old."—Paul Pickrel, Harper's


Baker & Taylor
Hagar Shipley, a fiercely proud woman facing the end of her life, escapes from her nursing home and searches for a way to reconcile herself to her tumultuous past and come to terms with mortality

Blackwell North Amer
With her life nearly behind her, the witty, irascible, and fiercely proud Hagar Shipley escapes from her nursing home and sets out in search of a way to reconcile herself to her tumultuous past. Through her reflections, we come to know the rebellious young bride in a remote prairie town, her love for her two sons, the freedom she claimed, and the joys she denied herself.
In this bold, final step toward freedom and independence, Hagar gains a deeper understanding of the meaning of acceptance. Her thoughts evoke not only the rich pattern of her past experience but also the meaning of what it is to grow old and to come to terms with mortality.

Univ of Chicago Div of the
The Stone Angel, The Diviners, and A Bird in the House are three of the five books in Margaret Laurence's renowned "Manawaka series," named for the small Canadian prairie town in which they take place. Each of these books is narrated by a strong woman growing up in the town and struggling with physical and emotional isolation.

In The Stone Angel, Hagar Shipley, age ninety, tells the story of her life, and in doing so tries to come to terms with how the very qualities which sustained her have deprived her of joy. Mingling past and present, she maintains pride in the face of senility, while recalling the life she led as a rebellious young bride, and later as a grieving mother. Laurence gives us in Hagar a woman who is funny, infuriating, and heartbreakingly poignant.

"This is a revelation, not impersonation. The effect of such skilled use of language is to lead the reader towards the self-recognition that Hagar misses."--Robertson Davies, New York Times

"It is [Laurence's] admirable achievement to strike, with an equally sure touch, the peculiar note and the universal; she gives us a portrait of a remarkable character and at the same time the picture of old age itself, with the pain, the weariness, the terror, the impotent angers and physical mishaps, the realization that others are waiting and wishing for an end."--Honor Tracy, The New Republic

"Miss Laurence is the best fiction writer in the Dominion and one of the best in the hemisphere."--Atlantic

"[Laurence] demonstrates in The Stone Angel that she has a true novelist's gift for catching a character in mid-passion and life at full flood. . . . As [Hagar Shipley] daydreams and chatters and lurches through the novel, she traces one of the most convincing--and the most touching--portraits of an unregenerate sinner declining into senility since Sara Monday went to her reward in Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth."--Time

"Laurence's triumph is in her evocation of Hagar at ninety. . . . We sympathize with her in her resistance to being moved to a nursing home, in her preposterous flight, in her impatience in the hospital. Battered, depleted, suffering, she rages with her last breath against the dying of the light. The Stone Angel is a fine novel, admirably written and sustained by unfailing insight."--Granville Hicks, Saturday Review

"The Stone Angel is a good book because Mrs. Laurence avoids sentimentality and condescension; Hagar Shipley is still passionately involved in the puzzle of her own nature. . . . Laurence's imaginative tact is strikingly at work, for surely this is what it feels like to be old."--Paul Pickrel, Harper's



Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1993
Edition: University of Chicago Press edition
ISBN: 9780226469362
0226469360
Branch Call Number: FICTION LAURE...M
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 20 cm

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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jan 30, 2017

Stone angel is a novel written by the Canadian novelist Margaret Laurence. Laurence writes as a 94 year old women whose name is Hagar Shipley. Hagar is physically not well but refuses help because of her pride. She lived till the end of her life, refusing the help of others as she wanted to maintain her dignity. This novel teaches the readers one lesson, that humans need to live till the end of their lives with some sense of personal value. I highly recommend this book if you want to experience the pride that every human beings have, and what we go through to maintain our dignity.
- @mockingbird of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

e
Elle_80
Jan 20, 2016

I started this book wondering if it's going anywhere. At first it seemed dull, with no real plot. But I was wrong. It's a slow build up to not much, but it pulls you in. I don't think anyone under the age of 40, will relate much. This is a good book. I'll read it again when I'm 60

w
wyenotgo
Aug 21, 2015

One of Laurence's least depressing books but it still left me wondering "what was the point of all this?" Hagar, unlike most of Laurence's lead characters, at least makes a valiant effort to escape her self-imposed life of tedium. But in the end, she falls victim to her own personality limitations. The story and the characters are believable and seem true to life but that, without a transformative (or at least liberating) moment left me wondering why the author devoted so much admittedly good writing to such a trivial story.
I understand that this book has at times appeared on the secondary school reading list, I suppose as a good example of "Can-Lit". Mercifully, it wasn't on my list at school or I might have enjoyed Grade 11 English Lit somewhat less than I did. I gather it even got a few uptight parents upset because Hagar actually (horrors!) has an illicit sexual relationship. Without reading that book those kids would never hear of such goings-on.
Oh well, at least Laurence succeeded in getting someone worked up, so I guess it was worthwhile ...

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Indulge in the sarcastic wit of Hagar Shipley, as she recalls her loves and life throughout her 90 years. Follow up with the movie from this library. A Canadian author."

s
sydneymore
Jul 07, 2013

Heartbreaking and beautiful, the story of Hagar Shipley is among my favourites.

g
genki2genki
Feb 18, 2013

If the perspective had been from a male point of view, ah, how much easier it would be for people to get! It seems because she is old and female, it isn't right that she is one tough old bird. It's not my favourite work by Laurence, but it works at so many levels. Hell, it's just a great story. If you are forced to read it for school, deal with it! Don't worry about whether you like it or not. And remember, one day you'll be old too. Maybe then the book will haunt you. Meantime, it is a novel I will always treasure.

d
dera444
May 11, 2012

I loved cranky old Hagar. Margaret Laurence is one of my favorite authors, her characters are so real.

t
technojoy
Jun 06, 2011

Unspeakably bleak.

v
vwruleschick
Mar 31, 2011

Story is told from Hagar's perspective when she is 90 years of age and is reflecting back on situations of her growing up with two older brothers a single Scottish father in Manakawa, Manitoba at the turn of the century. She tells of her childhood and relationship with her family and friends. Later, to the storms of her marriage to Brampton Shipley and her raisings of her sons, Marvin and John. While dealing with the death of her mother, brother, father, son and husband. All the while, she is determined not to go into a nursing home and runaway to old fishing village to avoid Marvin and Doris's decision for her future care. She meets some intriguing characters in a hospital in her adventures, before it all comes to an end.

o
oliviay
Dec 16, 2009

Maybe it's because I'm young, but I though this was terrible.

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Elle_80
Jan 20, 2016

Elle_80 thinks this title is suitable for 45 years and over

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sydneymore
Jul 07, 2013

sydneymore thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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