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!Download Pdf ♃ Selected Stories ♢ Too many things, a creative writing instructor tells the narrator of Differently Too many things going on at the same time also too many people Think, he told her What is the important thing What do you want us to pay attention to Think What does Alice Munro want us to pay attention to in her Selected Stories Everything, really, and so her narratives loop back on themselves, jump decades backward and forward in time, introduce characters who later drop out of the action, and generally break every rule in the short story writing book In Carried Away, for instance, a dead character makes a sudden, inexplicable appearance in what is otherwise the thoroughly naturalistic account of a librarian s disappointment with love The Albanian Virgin is two stories in one the first the fanciful tale of Ghegs kidnapping a young Canadian woman is told within the second, about a bookstore owner who has lost her own bearings after a divorce There are stories that begin with their endings, and several that end with beginnings others are told from three or four different angles, each with varying degrees of reliability Taken together, they form an intricate web of relationships and connections, falsehood and anecdote, a kind of fictional palimpsest laid over the faint traces of plot And yet Munro trusts her readers she believes that we will pay attention to all these things and She aims to create the illusion that everything in her fiction has been left in, and it is this very capaciousness that sets her work apart, making possible the keen psychological insight of her stories about marriage as well as the cool violence of Vandals or Fits Hers is an unusual sort of realism, technically innovative and amenable especially in the later work to loose ends It also possesses a quick, flinty wit This was the first time I understood how God could become a real opponent, not just some kind of nuisance or large decoration, says the narrator of The Progress of Love To call Munro the Canadian Chekhov is by now a commonplace and yet she may have done for the short fiction form than any writer since These are stories that will be read, savored, and admired hundreds of years from nowMary Park I bet Alice Munro is responsible for a lot of really bad writing These stories involve ordinary people living in unremarkable towns and cities Toronto small prairie towns doing pretty humdrum things many of these stories recount visits to old friends or family The language is so natural and the scenes so well drawn that the text requires no effort to read It is tempting to believe then that they took no effort or particular talent, or even much a subject matter, to write What I am left I bet Alice Munro is responsible for a lot of really bad writing These stories involve ordinary people living in unremarkable towns and cities Toronto small prairie towns doing pretty humdrum things many of these stories recount visits to old friends or family The language is so natural and the scenes so well drawn that the text requires no effort to read It is tempting to believe then that they took no effort or particular talent, or even much a subject matter, to write What I am left with is a sense that I witnessed these stories, so that now it takeseffort to remember reading about that family than it does to see them sitting on the deck after dinner And now that I have an entire album of Alice Munro photos in my mind, I wonder why these images, which would sound so banal if I tried to articulate them, are burnt into my retina The only explanation that I have is that Alice Munro put them there She is a magician The randomness of life, the fine line that separates tragedy from the quotidian, and the silent cracks that grow till they can t be mended after years of repressed grudges The desperation of a woman who knows her marriage is going to end and her prayers so that the story doesn t repeat with her two daughters As it is usual with Munro, there is no neat closure, just a fragmented glimpse into a life and a stolen glance into what might have been, out of sheer serendipity Merciless tragedy or sim The randomness of life, the fine line that separates tragedy from the quotidian, and the silent cracks that grow till they can t be mended after years of repressed grudges The desperation of a woman who knows her marriage is going to end and her prayers so that the story doesn t repeat with her two daughters As it is usual with Munro, there is no neat closure, just a fragmented glimpse into a life and a stolen glance into what might have been, out of sheer serendipity Merciless tragedy or simply everyday struggles Few things in life can be chosenparticularly the transcendental things So cherish them while they are within your grasp.Merged review Daunting, disquieting short story about a middle aged poetess who briefly entertains the idea of marrying her widowed neighbour A violent incident involving a man beating his drunk wife over the fence of the protagonist works as a metaphor for the stillborn affair between the widower and the poetess A pool of grape juice in the kitchen of the woman the following day, and the monthly discomforts of her menstruation awakens the poetess from a kind of stupor and she understands that words and verses are all she needs to be whole She has made her choice.Later on, the local newspaper covers her death and she is described as an eccentric woman who lost her mind, making indirect allusions to her undesirable condition of being unmarried.The price she has to pay to remain independent is that of brief allusions to her poetry, and aapologetic, detailed account of her personal life, which clearly didn t satisfy the general opinion.Sad and unbelievable, but still so common todayMerged review Oh my, what a trip.This short story had my mind reeling, my heart racing and my stomach churning with anticipation Two couples, two women who become confidants, Georgia and Maya They tell each other their secrets Maya is a restless soul, she needs constant adventure which his steadfast husband Raymond won t provide Georgia has been comfortably married to her high school sweetheart Ben, until mysterious Miles appears in her life Maya s influence or her need to feel alive, thrilled by a new passion Georgia doesn t think twice and jumps into the thrilling unknown.Munro is a master, a genius in portraying the miseries of the quotidian, of prolonged marriage, the meaning of friendship and betrayal Her writing is never apologetic, and her characters are wounded people who yearn to infuse meaning to their lives Her astute depiction of romantic affairs, always sidetracked by the biased lens of a patriarchal society, presents women who suffer the scorn of others, but mostly, their own Georgia thinks she could have acted differently towards Maya, if she had known what would happen in the future, but truth is, she never had a chance of making a choice Her course of action was set even before she knew it, and she didn t have the courage to defy her hurt pride and blame man and woman, lover and best friend, in equal terms, as it often happens in real life Top notch read.Merged review A story within a story A Canadian young woman is held captive by an Albanian tribe while she is on a cruise in Croatia The woman adopts the customs and manners of the tribe until the community deems fit to sell her to a Muslim as a bride A Franciscan priest helps her escape.A Canadian woman flees from her marriage right after she confesses to have an affair with her neighbor She opens a bookstore and amalgametes a wide arrange of eccentric friends.The two stories converge into a double happy ending with unexpected surprises She s just a genius This book came out a decade ago, and doesn t have some of herrecent stuff like the wonderful Runaway but it s just amazing story after amazing story The stories have some of the surfaces of quieter, plainer fiction about rural, domestic life, but they re packed with insight and dramatic moment, and Munro isexperimental than she s given credit for her leaps in time are jarring and amazing Especially in the stories that are connected by character and pla She s just a genius This book came out a decade ago, and doesn t have some of herrecent stuff like the wonderful Runaway but it s just amazing story after amazing story The stories have some of the surfaces of quieter, plainer fiction about rural, domestic life, but they re packed with insight and dramatic moment, and Munro isexperimental than she s given credit for her leaps in time are jarring and amazing Especially in the stories that are connected by character and place, a collage like effect begins to take hold, and you feel that Munro is filling in the details of a much larger canvas than it initially appeared A lot of my favorite short story writers come from a place that is similar to my own whether it s my life and circumstances, my own preferences as a reader and writer, etc What i find interesting about Munro is that her style, her subject, her characters and their homes none of it suggests an obvious connection to my own interests But I feel completely connected to it all by her storytelling Alice Munro is one of the best contemporary short story writers I know this because everybody says so Some of them say she is the best.I love short stories but although I have read Munro before, I have never quite clicked with any of hers And I love that click that comes with the short story, that feeling as you get to the end that you intend to go right back to the beginning again, and that this will be a great pleasure, and that you will do it again and again and again.I ve been reading t Alice Munro is one of the best contemporary short story writers I know this because everybody says so Some of them say she is the best.I love short stories but although I have read Munro before, I have never quite clicked with any of hers And I love that click that comes with the short story, that feeling as you get to the end that you intend to go right back to the beginning again, and that this will be a great pleasure, and that you will do it again and again and again.I ve been reading this Selected all summer and as I ve worked my way through, I have marveled at the cool, clean style, at the author s superb way with words Here is Lydia in Dulse , after she has finally parted with the man she has been living with She had to remember directions, and the order in which do things to open her checkbook, to move forward when it was her turn in line, to choose one kind of bread over another, to drop a token in the slot These seemed to be the most difficult things she had ever done She had immense difficulty reading the names of the subway stations, and getting off at the right one, so she could go to the apartment where she was staying She would have found it hard to describe this difficulty She knew perfectly well which was the right stop, she knew which stop it came after she knew where she was But she could not make the connection between herself and things outside herself, so that getting up and leaving the car, going up the steps, going along the street all seemed to involve a bizarre effort This seems to me to be remarkable writing I think it s something to do with the simplicity of the phrasing combined with the way the looping syntax mirrors the processes that are so difficult Then the simple sentence But she could not make the connection between herself and the things outside herself sums it all up so neatly and so beautifully This sort of thing, in another context, would be called poetry.She is stunningly good at visual description too, photographically good I would quoteif I hadspace.But what about my click It did happen at last It was in a story called Fits and in another, too, called Vandals but Fits suits my purposes better here.The first line of this story might be in one of those exercise books that trains you how to start a short story well The two people who died were in their early sixties We re talking about an accident, but two deaths, not one Maybe a car accident Read on to find out.Munro sets the scene in the first 8 paragraph section, and the main characters are laid on the canvas the two who died nameless at this point , Peg and Robert their neighbours and Clayton and Kevin Peg s sons It s a second marriage for Peg Rob, a middle aged store keeper has married her late after a series of affairs with married women.The focus of the story seems to be the deaths, since they are violent murder suicide An ordinary story teller might have picked up the idea of what runs under the surface in apparently normal relationships, since the deaths are unexpected Or perhaps focused on the way you just don t know what s going on next door.But that s not what Munro does It is Peg who finds the couple dead and the focus of this story is her reaction to their deaths, and the effect of her reaction on Robert They ve been married only a few years and she behaves neither as he expects, nor as the reader would expect The news of the violent incident is, to most people in the town, an enjoyable possession It was true that most people valued and looked forward to the moment of breaking the news And yet Peg, who finds the bodies and reports the deaths to the police, tells neither her friend Karen about it, nor her husband Robert Karen, on the other hand, tells her mother in hospital and her friend Shirley Friend Shirley s sister has got there first with the news, however, and Karen is annoyed at Shirley s sister, who didn t work and could get to the phone whenever she wanted Still, Karen was bound to tell her because she knew she wouldn t want not to know And that was true, says, Munro Nobody would want not to know But Peg hasn t told them Karen says, I always believed Peg and me to be friends, but now I m not so sure Robert feels troubled, even slightly humiliated, to think that he hadn t known Peg hadn t let him know Fourteen year old Kevin also thinks Peg should have let him know.But she didn t Is she in shock Nope Later that evening, at dinner Robert was watching her, from time to time He would have said he was watching to see if she was in any kind of trouble, if she seemed numb, or strange, or showed a quiver, if she dropped things or made the pots clatter But in fact he was watching her just because there was no sign of such difficulty and because he knew there wouldn t be She was preparing an ordinary meal, listening to the boys in her usual mildly censorious but unruffled way The only thingapparent than usual to Robert was her gracefulness, lightness, quickness, and ease round the kitchen Finally, Peg tells him about her experience of finding the bodies Robert has heard most of it already from the local gossip mongers There is, however, one thing he s aware of which she doesn t tell him but we don t know that yet Clayton comes back He talks casually about what causes violent events and this is where the story title comes in It s a kind of fit, says Robert People can take a fit like the earth takes a fit But it only happens once in a long while It s a freak occurrence Clayton observes that married people often have those kind of fits but feels compelled to make an exception of Peg and Robert because of the way his mother looks at him, the only point in the story where there is an indicator of the emotional undercurrents she is experiencing.Peg was looking at Clayton She who always seemed pale and silky and assenting, but hard to follow as a watermark in fine paper, looked dried out, chalky, her outlines fixed in steady, helpless, unapologetic pain What a wonderful simile that watermark But I don t want to give away the end of the story, where there is a subtle twist Robert goes out for a walk alone, thinking about what he knows she hasn t told him And it is in what she hasn t said or what she has left out and what he will choose to share with her that the elegance of this story lies.It is, at heart, a relationship piece, I think, and it is beautifully handled At the end you want to go back to the start, to Peg s background, her previous marriage, to the clues about what has been going on It is all about her The dead next door neighbours are incidental.This, it seems to me, provides a kind of insight to Munro s writing in general Her stories often open in a way that provides a focus of interest a character, or an event something that seems part of the commonground of stories But in fact, the obvious focus is never what she is interested in The events that inform the narrative are also not of especial interest to her, so much so that sometimes you feel a sense of flatness or disappointment that the happenings have become sidelined and unimportant compared to a single aspect the author is pursuing To me, these stories are like seeing a detail from a huge painting, with the main canvas simply there for background.Yes, she is a marvelous writer Even with the stories that don t click for me, the quality of language is second to none I must getof her for next summer She benefits from slow reading, like a very good wine Alice Munro writes entirely in the medium of short stories While I don t mind the trend of ever elongating fiction in modern literature, this collection of Munro s selected shorts is nothing short of a thrill of economy Munro s stories are brief, but the impressions her characters and the events to which they are sewed leave with the reader are long lasting In White Dump, Munro gives us two characters, one a mother, the other her daughter, who move forward and back towards an event that does Alice Munro writes entirely in the medium of short stories While I don t mind the trend of ever elongating fiction in modern literature, this collection of Munro s selected shorts is nothing short of a thrill of economy Munro s stories are brief, but the impressions her characters and the events to which they are sewed leave with the reader are long lasting In White Dump, Munro gives us two characters, one a mother, the other her daughter, who move forward and back towards an event that does not seem inescapable, but is just as fixed by the ennui that everyday life creates.This book s only weakness is that it takes stories from other collections, sometimes missing the mark on the arrangement of themes Aside from this occasional fit and start however, the stories of this book are a pleasant place to spend an afternoon This was our latest book club pick, and it was selected because many in the literary community think that Alice Munro should win the Pulitzer Prize it s reputed that the only reason she hasn t is that no author who exclusively writes short stories has ever won oh, literary politics Munro s writing style is clean, even sparse at times, but she has an ability to pack a mean emotional punch I ve heard it said that her stories illuminate the extraordinary in the ordinary lives of people, and it This was our latest book club pick, and it was selected because many in the literary community think that Alice Munro should win the Pulitzer Prize it s reputed that the only reason she hasn t is that no author who exclusively writes short stories has ever won oh, literary politics Munro s writing style is clean, even sparse at times, but she has an ability to pack a mean emotional punch I ve heard it said that her stories illuminate the extraordinary in the ordinary lives of people, and it s a fair depiction of her style The stories in this collection range in era from the 1930s to the 1970s, and they primarily focus on the lives of rural or isolated people in Canada I must say that throughout the earlier stories, the phrase leading lives of quiet desperation constantly came to mind So did the music of Neko Case, for that matter Fox Confessor Brings the Flood would be the perfect audio barbiturate for a reading session One thing that sets Munro apart for me is her decision to write several short stories about the same protagonist Each story highlights the character at different points in her life almost as if an omniscient being were to look in on a selection of moments in your life sort of like Rip Torn in Defending Your Life You saw the emotional points the character was at age 20 and in college, divorced at 43, etc It made it easier to stay engrossed in the collection, because you really felt like you were starting to get under the skin of a character.There is a distinctly melancholy feel to Munro s stories not tragic, but many of the characters were dealing with unhappy points in their life and trying to work their way through them Whether it was the humiliation of a parent in front of their children in Depression era Ontario, or dealing with loneliness after a one night stand that the protagonist hadn t thought would be a one night stand, the mood was a somber, reflective, a little sad Beautifully broken, if you will 020219 from i have read everything published by this author, so impressed she has won deserved Nobel rather than go through each book i decide to just note those i really like in this selection, then maybe the collections since you cannot go wrong with any selection you also will never feel like you have wasted reading time, as she is always concise, always readable, always resonanttheory on reading alice munro if each collection has thirteen stories, three or four will be good, six 020219 from i have read everything published by this author, so impressed she has won deserved Nobel rather than go through each book i decide to just note those i really like in this selection, then maybe the collections since you cannot go wrong with any selection you also will never feel like you have wasted reading time, as she is always concise, always readable, always resonanttheory on reading alice munro if each collection has thirteen stories, three or four will be good, six or seven very good, three or four will be excellent and make up for any weaker ones and then, for each reader and each time, this appreciation of her work will shift and change, change and shiftalso, best to read occasionally, not all at once a lot to find in a little wordcountso, for this selected stories Walker Brothers CowboyThe Ottawa ValleyThe Beggar MaidSimon s LuckLabor Day DinnerThe Moons of JupiterThe Progress of LoveFitsFriend of My YouthThe Albanian VirginA Wilderness Stationothers The Bear Came Around the MountainBefore the ChangeThe Love of a Good WomanSpaceships Have LandedWorking for a LivingRunawayDear Lifeand others i cannot remember titles Before reading this collection, I d read one or two of Munro s stories in the New Yorker Deep Holes was good enough to tear out keep but I really didn t know what she was up to in general This collection of short stories will let the reader feel thoroughly familiar with, though never bored by, Munro s style There are certain things she almost always does once past her earliest works begin with a story that isn t the real story and doesn t even really illuminate the real story but Before reading this collection, I d read one or two of Munro s stories in the New Yorker Deep Holes was good enough to tear out keep but I really didn t know what she was up to in general This collection of short stories will let the reader feel thoroughly familiar with, though never bored by, Munro s style There are certain things she almost always does once past her earliest works begin with a story that isn t the real story and doesn t even really illuminate the real story but is just as interesting as the real story tell us how different characters are approaching a shared experience show how aware and critical many rural Canadians are of deviations from their cultural norms hint at what deviant secrets are kept by same display the variety of ways that rural Canadian women have asserted their needs and desires conclude almost arbitrarily In a restaurant, I told my husband that Munro s characters are just slightlyinteresting than actual people tend to be It seemed to me that the man sitting near us overheard me say that, and I worried for a moment that he might have felt insulted then I wondered could he have walked to this restaurant alone across a moonlit field of snow, wondering why his wife wasn tupset by discovering the corpses of her neighbors two nights ago Munro has been compared to Chekhov and Tolstoy, but I think her writing is slightly less philosophical andtitillating than is theirs and better for solitary twilight indulging This is totally random, but when we were in Victoria, BC, I walked into this giant, wonderful bookstore called Munro s Books I bought a few things there, and the cashier gave me some free store bookmarks Well, I pulled one out the other day to stick in this book, and then read in the author bio that Alice Munro is in fact the owner of Munro s Books Go figure.The stories I have read so far are WONDERFUL Thanks for the rec, Paula