The Stone Angel
|Publisher||McClelland and Stewart|
The Stone Angel, first published in 1964 by McClelland and Stewart, is perhaps the best-known of Margaret Laurence's series of novels set in the fictitious town of Manawaka, Manitoba. In parallel narratives set in the past and the present-day (early 1960s), The Stone Angel tells the story of Hagar Currie Shipley. In the present-day narrative, 90-year-old Hagar is struggling against being put in a nursing home, which she sees as a symbol of death. The present-day narrative alternates with Hagar's looking back at her life.
In a series of vignettes, The Stone Angel tells the story of Hagar Shipley, a 90-year-old woman struggling to come to grips with a life of intransigence and loss. The themes of pride and the prejudice that comes from social class recur in the novel.
Literary significance and criticism
Amongst other titles by Laurence, The Stone Angel is consistently listed as one of the greatest Canadian novels ever written. It has also been banned by some school boards and high schools, usually following complaints from fundamentalist Christian groups labeling the book blasphemous and obscene. Although The Stone Angel has been banned from some schools and public libraries; it is studied at the grade 12 university level in other schools.
Awards and recognition
- The Stone Angel was one of the selected books in the 2002 edition of Canada Reads, where it was championed by Leon Rooke.
- Made into movie The Stone Angel, filmed in Winnipeg and Hartney, Manitoba. Stars Ellen Burstyn.
- Archived CBC coverage regarding the banning of the book
- List of challenged books in Canada
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