Dear Life Stories (Paperback)
|Author: Alice Munro|
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From the Publisher:
A brilliant new collection of stories from one of the most acclaimed and beloved writers of our time.
Alice Munro?s peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but always spacious and timeless stories is once again everywhere apparent in this brilliant new collection. In story after story, she illumines the moment a life is forever altered by a chance encounter or an action not taken, or by a simple twist of fate that turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into a new way of being or thinking. A poet, finding herself in alien territory at her first literary party, is rescued by a seasoned newspaper columnist, and is soon hurtling across the continent, young child in tow, toward a hoped-for but completely unplanned meeting. A young soldier, returning to his fiancée from the Second World War, steps off the train before his stop and onto the farm of another woman, beginning a life on the move. A wealthy young woman having an affair with the married lawyer hired by her father to handle his estate comes up with a surprising way to deal with the blackmailer who finds them out.
While most of these stories take place in Munro?s home territory?the small Canadian towns around Lake Huron?the characters sometimes venture to the cities, and the book ends with four pieces set in the area where she grew up, and in the time of her own childhood: stories ?autobiographical in feeling, though not, sometimes, entirely so in fact.? A girl who can?t sleep imagines night after wakeful night that she kills her beloved younger sister. A mother snatches up her child and runs for dear life when a crazy woman comes into her yard.
Suffused with Munro?s clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these tales about departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, and outgoings and homecomings both imagined and real, paint a radiant, indelible portrait of how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.
Born in Wigham, Ontario, Alice Munro attended the University of Western Ontario, graduating in 1951. That year she married James Munro, founded the beloved Munro's Books bookstore in Victoria, and had three daughters before getting divorced in 1976. She married Gerald Fremlin in 1976. Except for two early novels-in-stories, LIVES OF GIRLS AND WOMEN and THE BEGGAR MAID, Munro writes only short stories, although she said in a 1998 interview, "My ambition is to write a novel before I die." Her work has won her many awards and the nearly unremitting praise of other authors for the depth and richness of her characters, her startling shifts in time and perspective, her strong grasp of regionalism, and her Chekhovian ability to encompass large novelistic themes in relatively few pages . She appears with regularity in The Best American Short Stories series. Her recent book THE VIEW FROM CASTLE ROCK blends short fiction with true stories from her life and the lives of her ancestors. In 2009, Alice Munro won the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement.
"That Alice Munro, now 81, is one of the great short story writers not just of our time but of any time ought to go without saying by now. This new volume...is further proof of her mastery...,Over the years her work has deepened and enlarged. [These stories] seem to me as good as anything she has ever done, but also to strike out in the direction of a new, late style--one that is not so much a departure as a compressing or summing up of her whole career." - Charles McGrath 11/18/2012