Aug 1, 2012

Runaway - Alice Munro

Runaway - Munro, Alice

Summary: A collection of short fiction captures the lives of women of all ages and circumstances, as they deal with the limits and lies of passion, unfulfilled dreams, motherhood, betrayal, and the bonds of love.

Booklist Reviews
/*Starred Review*/ The CIP subject heading assigned to this collection of stories is "Women--Fiction." Accurate, yes, and helpful to librarians, of course, but at the same time so reductive, for although Canadian Munro does indeed write about women, her sheer perception and eloquence make her one of the foremost contemporary practitioners of the short story in English. And her status only gains more secure footing with the appearance of these eight new pieces. Munro's stories range "long"--that is, in the 30- to 40-page category. Their planned cohesion and intended restriction of focus actually mean that Munro has invented her own "genre" of short fiction: not undeveloped novels or even unfledged novellas but, rather, true short stories offering a widening and deepening of exploration that shorter pages don't allow. The title story ranks among Munro's best: a showcase of her own approach to "Women--Fiction." A young woman is encouraged by a neighbor to leave her husband, whom she believes is causing her mental distress, but upon discovering that running away really means just being lost, she returns home. And a cycle of three stories featuring the same character at three important junctures in her life is faultless in its clear-cut delineation of the arc of love, loss, and disconnection the woman's family relations have come to represent. Munro is remarkable for the ease and completeness with which she brings the world of a character into the frame, and her characteristic and greatly effective looping through time--not just connecting present and past but also indicating the future--is haunting. All this in a lovely, precise style. ((Reviewed September 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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