Alice Munro's Best

Alice Munro's Best

Selected Stories

Book - 2006
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In her lengthy and fascinating introduction Margaret Atwood says Alice Munro is among the major writers of English fiction of our time. . . . Among writers themselves, her name is spoken in hushed tones. This splendid gift edition is sure to delight Alice Munro's growing body of admirers, what Atwood calls her devoted international readership. Long-time fans of her stories will enjoy meeting old favourites, where their new setting in this book may reveal new sides to what once seemed a familiar story; devoted followers may even dispute the exclusion of a specially-beloved story. Readers lucky enough to have found her recently will be delighted, as one masterpiece succeeds another. The 17 stories are carefully arranged in the order in which she wrote them, which allows us to follow the development of her range. A Wilderness Station, for example, breaks short story rules by taking us right back to the 1830s then jumping forward more than 100 years. The Albanian Virgin destroys the idea that her stories are set in B.C. or in Ontario's Alice Munro Country. And The Bear Came Over the Mountain, the story behind the film Away From Her, takes us far from the world of young girls learning about sex into unflinching old age. This is a book to read slowly, savouring each story. It deserves a place in every Canadian book-lover's library.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2006.
ISBN: 9780771065200
0771065205
Characteristics: xviii, 509 ;,24 cm.

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VaughanPLNaomi Dec 10, 2018

I have never read a story woven together quite like one of Alice Munro's. Every little detail is one thread in the complex cloth of the lives of the women she describes. Munro pays close attention to what people are wearing, their body language, the way that their homes are decorated, and the little things that they say in conversation. These small observations form complex emotional plots. My favorite in this collection is "The Beggar Maid," a coming of age story of a country girl who leaves her town to study at university. She negotiates her identity confusion with her observations of her surroundings. The interior of the home of each character who influences her becomes important: the artifacts in the home of the sophisticated professor she lives with, the fluorescent lamp above the kitchen table and cheap plastic decor of her childhood home, and the sparse bedroom of her lover. Munro uses these interiors as a way to discuss the tensions in her life and her relative powerlessness, existing without a space of her own. This story captures the specificity of a young woman's experience so well. The reason I love "The Beggar Maid" in particular is the power of the main character and the way that she is able to assert herself at the end of the story. At the end of one of Munro's stories, which are usually fairly long, it can feel like you have lived the life of one of these characters. This book is a great collection of Munro, but everything I have read from her has been great.

PaulaBlix Jan 05, 2015

If you like Alice Munro, try Edith Pearlman. Her stories are among the best I've ever read. She has a new collection coming out Jan 6, 2015.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Aug 15, 2014

This is my first exposure to short stories by Munro. The experience has exceeded my expectation and I can see why she won the Nobel prize in literature, deservedly. I am now a fan!

j
JoanGlossop
Jul 06, 2014

If there are 3 Alice Munro's Best on the shelves, how can I be number 9 in the list? How does this work?
Thanks for your reply,
Joan

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