Shields died July 17, 2003, of breast cancer. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her best-selling novel The Stone Diaries. Her books are often about middle class people leading quiet lives. Her other novels include Larry's Party, which won Britain's Orange Prize, The Republic of Love and Swann: A Mystery. She also wrote a biography of Jane Austen as well as plays, poetry and story collections. In 1998 Shields was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time of the interview, she was in stage 4, a late stage of the disease. Her most recent novel, Unless, was written after her diagnosis. This interview first aired May 1, 2002.