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.
Etta James, the legendary vocalist who is perhaps known for her version of the song "At Last," has died. She was 73. Fresh Air remembers the singer with excerpts from a 1994 interview about her lengthy career.
A pioneering musician, and the mother of jazz singer Catherine Russell, Carline Ray died July 18. In the 1940s, Ray found a home in the all-female band The International Sweethearts of Rhythm as a guitarist and vocalist. In 2012, Fresh Air spoke with Russell about her mother.