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New Selected Stories – Alice Munro

When I heard there was a new Alice Munro collection, I just had to read it. Although it is not really new, it’s a new collection of existing stories.

Here is the blurb …

 Spanning almost thirty years and settings that range from big cities to small towns and farmsteads of rural Canada, this magnificent collection brings together twenty-eight stories by a writer of unparalleled wit, generosity, and emotional power. In her Selected Stories, Alice Munro makes lives that seem small unfold until they are revealed to be as spacious as prairies and locates the moments of love and betrayal, desire and forgiveness, that change those lives forever. To read these stories–about a traveling salesman and his children on an impromptu journey; an abandoned woman choosing between seduction and solitude–is to succumb to the spell of a writer who enchants her readers utterly even as she restores them to their truest selves.

In this review, I said collecting stories with a similar theme lessons the impact of each story. However, this collection is an overview of Munro’s work – there are stories from several of her previous collection. I think this is a much better arrangement and if you could buy just one collection, I would recommend this one.

As always, these stories are beautifully written, insightful and character driven.

More reviews …



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Runaway – Alice Munro

I’m still getting through my holiday reading – in case anyone thinks I’m reading books in one day!

I really like Alice Munro’s short stories. I’ve read  Too Much Happiness (check back later for a review of that one) and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship and Marriage. I was keen to check Runaway out when I saw it at the library.

Here is the blurb …

 A collection of stories about women of all ages and circumstances, their lives made palpable by the subtlety and empathy of this writer. Here are the infinite betrayals and surprise of love – between men and women, between friends, between parents and children – that are the stuff of all our lives. Alice Munro is the award-winning novelist, and has published ten previous collections of stories.

As always these stories are full of fabulous characters (very ordinary everyday people) dealing with difficult, interesting or just plain mundane circumstances. Munro has an uncanny knack of expressing her character’s inner lives – the good and the bad – which astonishes me. It is unusual to have things that you think are uniquely yours expressed in a novel.

My one criticism is the way the stories are collected. I know it makes sense to collect like with like, but I find each story loses it’s impact when it is surrounded by similar stories. I would prefer an eclectic mix of all of her stories.

More reviews …

From The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2005/feb/05/featuresreviews.guardianreview 

and the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/14/books/review/14COVERFR.html?pagewanted=all 

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Filed under Fiction, Recommended