Synopses & Reviews
A superb new collection from one of our best and best-loved writers. Nine stories draw us immediately into that special place known as Alice Munro territory a place where an unexpected twist of events or a suddenly recaptured memory can illumine the arc of an entire life.
The fate of a strong-minded housekeeper with a "frizz of reddish hair," just entering the dangerous country of old-maidhood, is unintentionally (and deliciously) reversed by a teenaged girl's practical joke. A college student visiting her aunt for the first time and recognizing the family furniture stumbles on a long-hidden secret and its meaning in her own life. An inveterate philanderer finds the tables turned when he puts his wife into an old-age home. A young cancer patient stunned by good news discovers a perfect bridge to her suddenly regained future. A woman recollecting an afternoon?s wild lovemaking with a stranger realizes how the memory of that encounter has both changed for her and sustained her through a lifetime.
Men and women are subtly revealed. Personal histories, both complex and simple, unfold in rich detail of circumstance and feeling. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage provides the deep pleasures and rewards that Alice Munro's large and ever-growing audience has come to expect.
"Its dreadful title is just about the only thing wrong with this stunning tenth collection....Rich, mature, authoritative stories veined with respectful attention to the complexity and singularity of vagrant, cluttered and compromised lives." Kirkus Reviews
"Canadian writer Alice Munro's masterful tenth collection of stories...proves again that she is a writer to cherish." Jane Ciabattari, Los Angeles Times
"[B]rilliantly executed tales....Munro has few peers in her understanding of the bargains women make with life and the measureless price they pay." Publishers Weekly
"Opulent in their beauty and gem-bright psychology, the extraordinary stories in Munro's tenth stellar collection span the spectrum from romance to tales of manners to deep meditations on love and mortality, and all evince Munro's profound understanding of the power of memories and the stories we tell ourselves." Booklist
"These tales have the intimacy of a family photo album and the organic feel of real life, and they give us portraits created not through willful artifice, but through imaginative sympathy and virtuosic craft." Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"The stories in this new collection don't play dazzling tricks with time and memory as some of her recent work has, but they're sagacious nevertheless....They're like compressed novels, three-course meals rather than the unsatisfying canapes most short stories resemble. They are replete with the histories of restless girls trying to shake off their mundane origins and grown women who have built dream castles around a single, breathless, unconfessed adultery....This is the terrain of love seen from the long prospect, a seasoned view. As unprepossessing as her characters may seem, Munro knows that their lives include the far reaches of ambition, betrayal, regret and, finally, wisdom." Laura Miller, Salon.com
(read the entire Salon review
"Munro's style is largely invisible in its economy. She constructs her stories out of long strings of detailed observations, each of them exactly right....Writers who concentrate so fiercely on particulars can run the risk of sounding too shrewd, too gratified by their own tricks of verisimilitude. But Munro is never knowing for the sake of being knowing, in the manner of Jonathan Franzen in The Corrections
with his corporate gardens." Ruth Franklin, The New Republic
(read the entire New Republic Review
"The highest compliment a critic can pay a short-story writer is to say that he or she is our Chekhov. More than one writer has made that claim for Alice Munro.
Her genius, like Chekhov's, is quiet and particularly hard to describe, because it has the simplicity of the best naturalism, in that it seems not translated from life but, rather, like life itself. In analyzing another Russian writer's transparent straightforwardness, James Wood described the critic's frustration: 'Why are his characters so real? Because they are so individual. Why does his world feel so true? Because it is so real. And so on.'" Mona Simpson, Atlantic Monthly
(read the entire Atlantic Monthly review
About the Author
Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published thirteen collections of stories as well as a novel, Lives of Girls and Women,
and two volumes of Selected Stories.
During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including three of Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Awards and two of its Giller Prizes, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, England’s W. H. Smith Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Man Booker International Prize. In 2013 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, Granta,
and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. She lives in Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron.
Table of Contents
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
Post and Beam
What Is Remembered
The Bear Came Over the Mountain