Synopses & Reviews
A powerful new collection from one of our most beloved, admired, and honored writers.
In stories that are more personal than any that she's written before, Alice Munro pieces her family's history into gloriously imagined fiction. A young boy is taken to Edinburgh's Castle Rock, where his father assures him that on a clear day he can see America, and he catches a glimpse of his father's dream. In stories that follow, as the dream becomes a reality, two sisters-in-law experience very different kinds of passion on the long voyage to the New World; a baby is lost and magically reappears on a journey from an Illinois homestead to the Canadian border.
Other stories take place in more familiar Munro territory, the towns and countryside around Lake Huron, where the past shows through the present like the traces of a glacier on the landscape and strong emotions stir just beneath the surface of ordinary comings and goings. First love flowers under the apple tree, while a stronger emotion presents itself in the barn. A girl hired as summer help, and uneasy about her "place" in the fancy resort world she's come to, is transformed by her employer's perceptive parting gift. A father whose early expectations of success at fox farming have been dashed finds strange comfort in a routine night job at an iron foundry. A clever girl escapes to college and marriage.
Evocative, gripping, sexy, unexpected these stories reflect a depth and richness of experience. The View from Castle Rock is a brilliant achievement from one of the finest writers of our time.
"With this new collection, Munro more than lives up to her reputation as a master of short fiction....All the narratives exhibit Munro's keen eye for realistic details and her ability to illuminate the depths of seemingly mundane lives and relationships. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"Writing style yes, predictably limpid and lovely....But [many of the stories] taste like autobiographical essays....On the other hand, only purists will howl over the issue of authorial intrusion, and the vast number of fiction readers will be completely absorbed." Booklist
"The View from Castle Rock is a sad and beautifully written book." BookPage
"It's a fascinating experiment, and a successful one, though its early pages demand some patience of the reader." Chicago Tribune
"The genre doyenne's perfectly modulated tales have always scored a direct wallop to the cerebral cortex....She doesn't broach any new themes, but Munro's prodigious talent is all here. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly
"The View From Castle Rock...feels deeply misjudged: Munro has scrupulously focused a microscope on her own life and history to the point where she doesn't entirely allow her stories to come alive." Dallas-Ft. Worth Star Telegram
"Castle Rock is an extremely good book, filled with subtle prose and insights into human nature. It is not Munro's best collection....But for the Munro fanatic, anything from our northern Chekhov is good news." USA Today
"A blending and blurring of documented fact with the Munro gifts for dramatizing incident and fleshing character....This is the mortal Munro staking her place in that sturdy bloodline as the one of her generation who writes it down." Katherine Dunn, Portland Oregonian
"Few of the stories in The View From Castle Rock work as fully realized fictions, and the whole fails to cohere despite the presence of an unnamed narrator meant to link them." Floyd Skloot, The San Francisco Chronicle
"These are Alice Munro's most personal stories. We should be grateful, for they give us a privileged portrait of a brilliant artist." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"This amalgam of history, fiction, and memoir is unlike any historical fiction or autobiographical fiction that I have ever encountered....The View From Castle Rock is not only every bit as beautiful and substantial a work as Munro's readers might hope for; it is also a work of dizzying originality. In fact, it creates an entirely new category of book into which only it can fall." Deborah Eisenberg, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
An evocative and compelling compilation of short fiction by the award-winning author of The Love of a Good Woman and other works journeys from the Scotland of the author's own family heritage and a ship en route to the New World, to a family odyssey from Illinois to Canada and in and around Lake Huron. 150,000 first printing.
In stories that are more personal than any that she's written before, Munro pieces her family's history into gloriously imagined fiction. Evocative, gripping, sexy, unexpected these stories reflect a depth and richness of experience.
About the Author
Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published eleven new collections of stories Dance of the Happy Shades; Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You; The Beggar Maid; The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Friend of My Youth; Open Secrets; The Love of a Good Woman; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Runaway; and a volume of Selected Stories as well as a novel, Lives of Girls and Women. 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 United States' National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Edward MacDowell Medal in literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages.
Table of Contents
PART ONE / No Advantages
The View from Castle Rock
The Wilds of Morris Township
Working for a Living
PART TWO / Home
Lying Under the Apple Tree
What Do You Want to Know For?