Dear Life Audio CD – 1 Feb 2013
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"Deep and surprising and unsparing" (Helen Simpson Guardian)
"As rich and astonishing as anything she has ever done before" (New York Review of Books)
"In this book Munro has laid bare the foundations of her fiction as never before. Lovers of her writing must hope this is not, in fact, her finale. But if it is, it’s spectacular" (Ruth Scurr Daily Telegraph)
"Another dazzling collection of short stories, provincial and universal in equal measure" (Sara Wheeler Observer)
"A slight sense of withholding gives Munro's prose its gracefulness, and allows intimacy without danger. After many years, many collections and many wonderful stories, readers may feel they know everything about Alice Munro, especially as so many of her characters lead lives similar to her own. In fact, we know very little about her. This is one of the reasons readers become dizzy with love for Munro. This other reason is that she is so damn good" (Anne Enright Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The brilliant new collection of stories by the winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The stories are all set in familiar Munro territory around Lake Huron and all of them revolve around small incidents in generally modest, some would say ordinary, lives. That is not their limitation but their strength. There are no extra trappings to distract from the sensibilities of the (generally female) central characters. The simplicity in the telling belies the complexity of the felt experience but brings us in to experience it virtually at first hand. There is a particularly quality of wistfulness about these late stories, as if the author has turned for one last contemplative look back down a road travelled and not to be returned upon, as if each story carries a personal memory, not simply a story-teller's conjuration.
This is certainly true of the last four pieces which the author introduces with an explanation that these are indeed memoir not stories. They gain an extra poignancy by being avowedly autobiographical, and they add to the sense of valediction. I do hope, however, this is not to be Ms Munro's farewell.
And boy, does Alice Munro know how to do it. This book contains 'Amundsen' which is, for my money, the most beautiful and heart-breaking love story ever written (bar Joyce's 'The Dead'). It is so elegant and atmospheric, I felt transported inside of a 1940s film, and it tugs at your heartstrings without even trying. I can't ever remember shouting 'Whaaaat?!' in the middle and then being reduced to tears by a single, unexpected little sentence at the end of one little story.
Sure, we won't feel all warm and fuzzy inside after reading this book, but then again, real life also rarely leaves us feeling full of beans, does it? I love this writer for showing so much respect for us, her readers, by refusing to sugar-coat anything.
Not all of her stories are sorrowful, instead they are not happy, like the ordinary days in our life aren't pure happiness, in her stories reader won't find happy endings or easy problem resolutions, as is often the case.
It's hard to define what the themes of her stories are, most of the times it's only the one moment when your life is heading in a different direction than what you hoped for, what do you expected...
She focuses on that specific time or event when such things are happening, when our future is changing, and at this time her characters aren't aware of it.
In most occasions it's almost unbelievable to see how much small choices can affect our future, how some tiny moment in one of our days can shape our destiny.
And this is something that makes Alice Munro special because the reader while reading her stories really thinks about her/his life, about her/his decisions, about our moments that already happened or will happen that will change our fate.
You'll find yourself so deeply drawn into her stories that you'll be sure you know these people, that you can give them good advice, you will criticize their bad decisions, that you want to help them even you know they won't listen anyway...
Due to that, these are stories that will stay in your mind for a long time after you'll close last page and therefore I can only recommend you to step into author's world, the world that isn't fictional, the world in which we all live.
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