One of Canada's most celebrated novelists, Pulitzer Prize-winner Carol Shields, has died at her home in British Columbia of cancer. She was 68.

The author of more than 20 books, she is best known for The Stone Diaries, a fictional biography of a woman who drifts through life, bewildered by her inability to understand her place in it. In addition to the Pulitzer, the book won Canada's Governor General's Literary Award.

Shields said she began writing in the 1970s, because she could not find the kind of books she wanted to read; books about the lives of ordinary, middle class people, especially women.

In her last novel, Unless, Shields detailed the life of a Canadian writer whose eldest daughter decides to live on the street and beg for money.