This collection of stories illuminates moments that shape a life, from a dream or a sexual act to simple twists of fate that turn a person out of his or her accustomed path and into another way of being. Set in the countryside and towns of Lake Huron, these stories about departures and beginnings, accidents, dangers, and homecomings both virtual ...
This collection of stories illuminates moments that shape a life, from a dream or a sexual act to simple twists of fate that turn a person out of his or her accustomed path and into another way of being. Set in the countryside and towns of Lake Huron, these stories about departures and beginnings, accidents, dangers, and homecomings both virtual and real, paint a portrait of how strange, dangerous, and extraordinary the ordinary life can be.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-09-24 Joan Didion once said "I didn't want to see life reduced to a short story... I wanted to see life expanded to a novel." Didion had her own purposes, but Munro readers know that the dichotomy between expansive novel and compressed short story doesn't hold in her work. Munro (Too Much Happiness) can depict key moments without obscuring the reality of a life filled with countless other moments-told or untold. In her 13th collection, she continues charting the shifts in norms that occur as WWII ends, the horses kept for emergencies go out of use, small towns are less isolated, and then gradually or suddenly, nothing is quite the same. There are no clunkers here, and especially strong stories include "Train," "To Reach Japan," "Haven," and "Corrie." And for the first time, Munro writes about her childhood, in the collection's final four pieces, which she describes as "not quite stories.... I believe they are the first and last-and the closest-things I have to say about my own life." These feature the precision of her fiction with the added interest of revealing the development of Munro's eye and her distance from her surroundings, both key, one suspects, in making her the writer she is. While many of these pieces appeared in the New Yorker, they read differently here; not only has Munro made changes, but more importantly, read together, the stories accrete, deepen, and speak to each other. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2013-02-25 This audio production presents 14 new stories from Munro, whom Booklist called "the best short-story writer in English today." Despite the author's often-brilliant source material, Farr and Morey's performances are uninspired. There is a quiet desperation to Munro's characters, a sense that the "dear life" of the title does not refer to life's beauty, but to its harried restlessness-as in, "holding on for dear life." In conveying this desperation, both narrators lack subtlety, though Morey does a standout job with the laconic protagonist of "Train," a man who repeatedly hides from conflict and self-exposure. Because the stories and characters are so different from one another-sharing only their Canadian settings-this audio edition might have benefited from additional narrators. As presented here, the stories and characters bleed into one another, the narrators' voices barely changing from one piece to the next. A Knopf hardcover. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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