Find the #1 NYT Bestseller Dear Life by Alice Munro from your local library.
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WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE© IN LITERATURE 2013 A New York Times Notable Book A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction A Best Book of the Year: The Atlantic, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, AV Club In story after story in this brilliant new collection, Alice Munro pinpoints the moment a person is forever altered by a chance encounter, an action not taken, or a simple twist of fate. Her characters are flawed and fully human: a soldier returning from war and avoiding his fiancée, a wealthy woman deciding whether to confront a blackmailer, an adulterous mother and her neglected children, a guilt-ridden father, a young teacher jilted by her employer. Illumined by Munro’s unflinching insight, these lives draw us in with their quiet depth and surprise us with unexpected turns. And while most are set in her signature territory around Lake Huron, some strike even closer to home: an astonishing suite of four autobiographical tales offers an unprecedented glimpse into Munro’s own childhood. Exalted by her clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, Dear Life shows how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.
More books by Alice Munro
1. Capturing the British Landscape
2. A Wilderness Station
**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature** This first-ever selection of Alice Munro’s stories sums up her genius. Her territory is the secrets that cackle beneath the façade of everyday lives, the pain and promises, loves and fears of apparently ordinary men and women whom she renders extraordinary and unforgettable. This volume brings together the best of Munro’s stories, from 1968 through to 1994. The second selected volume of her stories, 1995-2009 is also published by Vintage Classics.
3. Selected Stories Volume Two: 1995-2009
Covering the second half of Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro’s career, these are some of the best, most touching and powerful short stories ever written. ‘Munro is still one of our most fearless explorers of the human being’ The Times Spanning her last five collections and bringing together her finest work from the past fifteen years, this new selection of Alice Munro’s stories infuses everyday lives with a wealth of nuance and insight. Beautifully observed and remarkably crafted, written with emotion and empathy, these stories are nothing short of perfection. A masterclass in the genre, from an author who deservedly lays claim to being one of the major fiction writers of our time.
4. Julieta (Movie Tie-In Edition)
The Three Stories that Inspired the Movie With a foreword by Pedro Almodóvar Alice Munro is cherished for her exquisite, affecting meditations on the human heart. In these three linked stories, “Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence”–which, together, inspired Pedro Almodóvar’s film Julieta–her virtuosic talents are once again on display. The stories follow a schoolteacher named Juliet as she is swept up by fate: meeting an older man on a train and starting an affair; later, visiting her parents as a young mother; and later still, searching for contact with her estranged daughter. As with all of Munro’s characters, Juliet radiates warmth, dignity, and hope, even as she is unflinching in the face of betrayal and loss. In Munro’s hands, her journey is as surprising, extraordinary, and precious as life itself.
Vieux couple à la retraite, ils croyaient ne plus avoir grand-chose à vivre en attendant la mort. Mais leur quotidien se trouve brutalement bouleversé par l’irruption d’une figure du passé. Cette vendeuse en cosmétiques qui sonne à la porte, qui est-elle au juste ? À peine est-elle entrée dans la maison que la narratrice retrouve sa jalousie de jeune fille. Et les emportements qui vont avec. À 70 ans passés, l’amour peut-il encore être en danger ?
6. The Office
A Vintage Shorts “Short Story Month” Selection The solution came to the writer one evening: she should have an office. From Nobel Laureate Alice Munro, a brilliantly executed and revelatory story—one of the earliest published works of her career—in which simply finding a place to write turns out to be the hardest act of all. Alice Munro is the universally acclaimed master of the contemporary short story, the Chekhov of our time, and “The Office” sheds light on the process and growth of a beloved writer. A selection from Dance of the Happy Shades, Munro’s first collection. An eBook short.
7. Family Furnishings
From the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature—and one of our most beloved writers—a new selection of her peerless short fiction, gathered from the collections of the last two decades, a companion volume to Selected Stories (1968-1994). Family Furnishings brings us twenty-four of Alice Munro’s most accomplished, most powerfully affecting stories, many of them set in the territory she has so brilliantly made her own: the small towns and flatlands of southwestern Ontario. Subtly honed with her hallmark precision, grace, and compassion, these stories illuminate the quotidian yet extraordinary particularity in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world. Peopled with characters as real to us as we are to ourselves, Munro’s stories encompass the fullness of human experience—from the wild exhilaration of first love, in “Passion,” to the lengths a once-straying husband will go to make his wife happy as her memory fades, in “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” Other stories suggest the punishing consequences of leaving home (“Runaway”) or leaving a marriage (“The Children Stay”). The part romantic love plays in one’s existence is explored in “Too Much Happiness,” based on the life of the noted nineteenth-century mathematician, Sophia Kovalevsky. And in stories that Munro has described as “closer to the truth than usual”—“Dear Life,” “Working for a Living,” and “Home” among them—we glimpse the author’s own life. As the Nobel Prize presentation speech says in part: “Reading one of Alice Munro’s texts is like watching a cat walk across a laid dinner table. A brief short story can often cover decades, summarizing a life, as she moves deftly between different periods. No wonder Alice Munro is often able to say more in thirty pages than an ordinary novelist is capable of in three hundred. She is a virtuoso of the elliptical and the master of the contemporary short story.”
8. Odio, amistad, noviazgo, amor, matrimonio
9. Vintage Munro
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the greatest modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions. “In Munro’s hands, as in Chekhov’s, a short story is more than big enough to hold the world—and to astonish us again and again.” —Chicago Tribune In an unbroken procession of brilliant, revelatory short stories, Alice Munro has unfolded the wordless secrets that lie at the heart of all human experience. She has won three Governor General’s Literary Awards in her native Canada, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. Vintage Munro includes stories from throughout her career: The title stories from her collections The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; “Differently,” from Selected Stories, and “Carried Away,” from Open Secrets.
10. Lying Under the Apple Tree
‘Munro is still one of our most fearless explorers of the human being, as she descends, time and again, headlamp on full beam, pickaxe and butter-knife at the ready’ The Times Spanning her last five collections and bringing together her finest work from the past fifteen years, this new selection of Alice Munro’s stories infuses everyday lives with a wealth of nuance and insight. Beautifully observed and remarkably crafted, written with emotion and empathy, these stories are nothing short of perfection. A masterclass in the genre, from an author who deservedly lays claim to being one of the major fiction writers of our time.
‘Read not more than one of her stories a day, and allow them to work their spell slowly: they are made to last’ GuardianWhen her father marries his second wife, Chrissy gets a new step sister. Three years older than her, Queenie is beautiful and kind, someone everybody wants to be friends with. Chrissy worships her. But when Queenie runs away at eighteen, their lives quietly diverge.Joyce Carol Oates has described Alice Munro’s work as ‘tales of domestic tragicomedy that seemed to open up, as if by magic, into wider, deeper, vaster dimensions.’ Queenie is Munro at her subtle, heart-breaking best.’One of the great short story writers not just of our time but of any time’ New York Times Book Review
12. Friend of My Youth
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 The ten miraculously accomplished stories in Alice Munro’s Friend of My Youth not only astonish and delight but also convey the unspoken mysteries at the heart of all human experience. “[Friend of My Youth is] a wonderful collection of stories, beautifully written and deeply felt.”–Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
13. Selected Stories, 1968-1994
WINNER OF THE 2013 NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE Spanning almost thirty years and settings that range from big cities to small towns and farmsteads of rural Canada, this magnificent collection brings together twenty-eight stories by a writer of unparalleled wit, generosity, and emotional power. In her Selected Stories, Alice Munro makes lives that seem small unfold until they are revealed to be as spacious as prairies and locates the moments of love and betrayal, desire and forgiveness, that change those lives forever. To read these stories–about a traveling salesman and his children on an impromptu journey; an abandoned woman choosing between seduction and solitude–is to succumb to the spell of a writer who enchants her readers utterly even as she restores them to their truest selves.
14. Dance of the Happy Shades
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 In these fifteen short stories–her eighth collection of short stories in a long and distinguished career–Alice Munro conjures ordinary lives with an extraordinary vision, displaying the remarkable talent for which she is now widely celebrated. Set on farms, by river marshes, in the lonely towns and new suburbs of western Ontario, these tales are luminous acts of attention to those vivid moments when revelation emerges from the layers of experience that lie behind even the most everyday events and lives. “Virtuosity, elemental command, incisive like a diamond, remarkable: all these descriptions fit Alice Munro.”–Christian Science Monitor “How does one know when one is in the grip of art–of a major talent?….It is art that speaks from the pages of Alice Munro’s stories.”–Wall Street Journal
15. Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 In the thirteen stories in her remarkable second collection, Alice Munro demonstrates the precise observation, straightforward prose style, and masterful technique that led no less a critic than John Updike to compare her to Chekhov. The sisters, mothers and daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends in these stories shimmer with hope and love, anger and reconciliation, as they contend with their histories and their present, and what they can see of the future.
16. Floating Bridge (Storycuts)
A consultation with an oncologist disrupts Jinny’s resolutions and resignations, and she must confront issues she’d hitherto been content to let lie. Leaving her husband to his distractions, she allows a strange boy to drive her home by way of an unusual road. Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was originally published in the collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.
17. Comfort (Storycuts)
When her sick husband carries out a long-agreed-upon plan in her absence, Nina is unable to deny shock and grief from taking hold. This story recounts the married life of the couple, the aftermath of a death, and the stubbornness present in both. Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was originally published in the collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.
18. What Is Remembered (Storycuts)
A fleeting affair lingers in the memory of a woman. Thirty years after the event, when both husband and lover have died, she remembers one further detail. Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.
19. Nettles (Storycuts)
Childhood friends, whose affectionate relationship suffered an abrupt disruption, are reunited unexpectedly in the home of a mutual acquaintance. Both bear the marks of life’s disappointments as they set about renegotiating the terms of their association. When they choose to ignore a weather warning, the two are treated to one last adventure. Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.
20. The Progress Of Love
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 Alice Munro, who received the National Book Critics Circle Award for her latest collection of stories, The Love of a Good Woman, is widely acknowledged as a modern master of the short story. In this earlier collection, she demonstrates all of those strengths that have won her so many literary accolades. A divorced woman returns to her childhood home where she confronts the memory of her parents’ confounding yet deep bond. The accidental near-drowning of a child exposes the fragility of the trust between children and parents. A young man, remembering a terrifying childhood incident, wrestles with the responsibility he has always felt for his younger brother. In these and other stories Alice Munro proves once again a sensitive and compassionate chronicler of our times. Drawing us into the most intimate corners of ordinary lives, she reveals much about ourselves, our choices, and our experiences of love.
“Runaway” is the first story in this stunning collection, sure to be a runaway success. All of the eight stories here are new, published in book form for the first time. Two of the eight have never appeared anywhere, so this will be a special feast for the millions of Munro fans around the world. Miraculously, these stories seem to have been written by a young writer at the peak of her powers. Alice Munro’s central characters range from 14-year-old Lauren in “Trespass,” through the young couple in “Runaway,” whose helpful older neighbour intervenes to help the wife escape, all the way to a 70-year-old woman meeting a friend of her youth on a Vancouver street and sitting with him to recall their tangled lives fifty years earlier, through a web of cheerful lies. Three of the stories, “Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence,” are linked, showing us how the young teacher Juliet meets her fisherman lover on a train (and, by terrible chance, visits his B.C. home on the day after his wife’s funeral); how, years later, she brings baby Penelope back east to show her parents and learns sad secrets about their marriage; and how, twenty years on, she visits the estranged Penelope in her cult-like B.C. community. The result is more powerful than most novels, a quality in Alice Munro’s stories that has been noted by many reviewers. The final story, “Powers,” spans 50 years and runs from Goderich to Vancouver and involves a cast of four characters, each of whom steps forward to dominate the scene, not least Tessa, the plain girl whose psychic powers take her on the vaudeville circuit. But it is Alice Munro’s own powers that dominate this collection and that will amaze reviewers and readers. How can she keep getting better? How can any one person know so much about the heads and hearts of so many different people? And how can she weave them together in stories that delight academics and ordinary readers alike, making each new Alice Munro book a runaway bestseller?
22. Open Secrets
Open Secrets, Alice Munro’s eighth book, consists of eight matchless stories, each one as rich as a full novel. All of them provide compulsive reading – and rewarding re-reading. “Perhaps you will be surprised to hear from a person you don’t know and that doesn’t remember your name.” These intriguing words begin a letter dated 1917 to the Librarian in Carstairs, Ontario (the heart of “Alice Munro Country”). The letter sweeps us away into a world of secrets and revelations where nothing – not even a courtship by letter that leads, over time, to a solid marriage – is as it originally seems. The Ontario stories range from “A Wilderness Station,” which gives an account of an 1852 tree-felling accident and sheds light on the harsh life of the pioneers, all the way to the present, where family names known to us appear again in a world of TV shows and snowmobiles. Just as the stories range back and forth in time, they also travel far to distant settings. Much of “The Albanian Virgin” is set in a remote mountain area where a Canadian tourist in the 1920s is captured by bandits; her tale of escape is comforting to a Victoria bookseller escaping from her own former life. “The Jack Randa Hotel” brings a deserted wife in cold pursuit to Australia, which leads to another intriguing letter. “Dear Mrs. Thornaby, It has come to my attention that you are dead…” Things that cannot be explained happen here. In the title story a lawyer’s wife has a flash of insight – illogical, unprovable and terrifying – into the fate of a missing teenager; in another, the appearance of a long-dead visitor reveals the grip of a former love. Yet the true magic lies in the way that Alice Munro makes everything here – unexpected marriages, elopements, acts of sudden vengeance – unfold with the ease of the inevitable. This is the mark of a great writer, and it is stamped on every page of this book.
23. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
As always, Alice Munro surprises us. While the nine stories in this new collection could not be written by anyone else, they are subtly different. The title story, for example, ranges from small-town Ontario just after the war to a near-deserted hotel on the bald Saskatchewan prairie. The setting may be strange, uncharted Munro territory, but the plot is familiar, with two lives changed forever by a random act of mischief that can never be revealed. “Floating Bridge” is also a typical Alice Munro story, but different. Forty-two-year-old Jinny is fighting cancer, and the front room in their middle-class home is turned into a sickroom. Her husband hires a girl to look after her, and they visit the girl’s trailer park relatives. Class tensions are exposed (“You know you’ll hurt their feelings,” he whispered. “They’re trying to be nice to you.”), and then something both unbelievable and totally believable happens to conclude the story in a way the reader will never forget. Other stories contain lines that change the world. A promisingly flirtatious reunion with a teenage sweetheart, now married, takes an unexpected turn. (“About our youngest boy,” he said. “Our youngest boy was killed last summer.” Oh. “He was run over,” he said. “I was the one who ran over him. Backing out of our driveway.” I stopped again. He stopped with me. Both of us stared ahead. “His name was Brian. He was three.”) In this great book by one of the world’s great writers, the settings may be Vancouver Island, small-town Ontario, Toronto, or Vancouver, but the stories are universal, and the characters – no, the people in the stories – are unforgettable.
24. Alice Munro’s Best
In her lengthy and fascinating introduction Margaret Atwood says “Alice Munro is among the major writers of English fiction of our time. . . . Among writers themselves, her name is spoken in hushed tones.” This splendid gift edition is sure to delight Alice Munro’s growing body of admirers, what Atwood calls her “devoted international readership.” Long-time fans of her stories will enjoy meeting old favourites, where their new setting in this book may reveal new sides to what once seemed a familiar story; devoted followers may even dispute the exclusion of a specially-beloved story. Readers lucky enough to have found her recently will be delighted, as one masterpiece succeeds another. The 17 stories are carefully arranged in the order in which she wrote them, which allows us to follow the development of her range. “A Wilderness Station,” for example, breaks “short story rules” by taking us right back to the 1830s then jumping forward more than 100 years. “The Albanian Virgin” destroys the idea that her stories are set in B.C. or in Ontario’s “Alice Munro Country.” And “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” the story behind the film Away From Her, takes us far from the world of young girls learning about sex into unflinching old age. This is a book to read slowly, savouring each story. It deserves a place in every Canadian book-lover’s library.
25. Too Much Happiness
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 Ten superb new stories by one of our most beloved and admired writers—the winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize. With clarity and ease, Alice Munro once again renders complex, difficult events and emotions into stories about the unpredictable ways in which men and women accommodate and often transcend what happens in their lives. In the first story a young wife and mother, suffering from the unbearable pain of losing her three children, gains solace from a most surprising source. In another, a young woman, in the aftermath of an unusual and humiliating seduction, reacts in a clever if less-than-admirable fashion. Other tales uncover the “deep-holes” in a marriage, the unsuspected cruelty of children, and, in the long title story, the yearnings of a nineteenth-century female mathematician.
26. My Best Stories
In her Introduction, Margaret Atwood says, “Alice Munro is among the major writers of English fiction of our time … Among writers themselves, her name is spoken in hushed tones.” My Best Stories is a dazzling selection of stories-seventeen favourites chosen by the author from across her distinguished career. The stories are arranged in the order written, allowing even the most devoted Munro admirer to discover how her work developed, taking surprising turns. The stories span a quarter of a century and include “Royal Beatings,” “Friend of My Youth,” and “The Love of a Good Woman.” This is a book to read-and re-read-very slowly, savouring each story. This collection of small masterpieces deserves a place in every Canadian booklover’s home.
27. Away from Her
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 Alice Munro has long been heralded for her penetrating, lyrical prose, and in “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” – the basis for Sarah Polley’s film Away From Her — her prodigious talents are once again on display. As she follows Grant, a retired professor whose wife Fiona begins gradually to lose her memory and drift away from him, we slowly see how a lifetime of intimate details can create a marriage, and how mysterious the bonds of love really are.
28. The View From Castle Rock
A new collection of stories by Alice Munro is always a major event. This new collection — her most personal to date — is no exception. Alice Munro’s stories are always wonderful and so ingrained with truths about life that readers always want to know where they came from. In this book, Alice Munro tells us. In her Foreword (an unusual feature in itself), she explains how she, born Alice Laidlaw in Ontario, in recent years became interested in the history of her Laidlaw ancestors. Starting in the wilds of the Scottish Borders, she learned a great deal about a famous ancestor, born around 1700, who, as his tombstone records, “for feats of frolic, agility and strength, had no equal in his day.” She traced the family’s history with the help of that man’s nephew, the famous writer James Hogg, finding to her delight that each generation of the family had produced a writer who wanted to record what had befallen them. In this way, she was able to follow the family’s voyage to Canada in 1818, and their hard times as pioneers — once a father dies on the same day that a daughter is born in the same frontier cabin. “I put all this material together over the years,” Alice tells us, “and almost without my noticing what was happening, it began to shape itself, here and there, into something almost like stories. Some of the characters gave themselves to me in their own words, others rose out of their situations.” As the book goes down through the generations, we come to Robert Laidlaw, Alice’s father, and then, at the book’s heart, the stories become first-person stories, set during her lifetime. So is this a memoir? No. She drew on personal experiences, “but then I did anything I wanted to with this material, because the chief thing I was doing was making a story.” The resulting collection of stories range from the title story — where through a haze of whiskey Alice’s ancestors gaze north from Edinburgh Castle at the Fife coast, believing that it is North America — all the way to the final story, where we travel with “Alice Munro” today. In the author’s words, these stories “pay more attention to the truth of a life than fiction usually does. But not enough to swear on.” All of them are Alice Munro stories. There could be no higher praise.
29. The Moons Of Jupiter
“Munro’s work endures-its wholeness of vision, its complexity of feeling, its tolerance of mind.” –Lorrie Moore The characters who populate an Alice Munro story live and breathe; in the finely drawn detail of their lives we find a reflection of ourselves. Passions hopelessly conceived, affections betrayed, marriages made and broken: the joys, loves, and awakenings of women echo throughout these twelve unforgettable stories, laying bare the unexceptional and yet inescapable pain of human contact. From the opening story exploring family relations to the poignant story that closes the collection, this is “vintage Munro.”
30. Who Do You Think You Are?
Rose and her stepmother, Flo, live in Hanratty-across the bridge from the “good” part of town. Rose, alternately fascinated and appalled by the rude energy of the people around her, grows up nursing her hope of outgrowing her humble beginnings and plotting an escape to university. Rose makes her escape and thinks herself free. But Hanratty’s question-Who Do You Think You Are?-rings in her ears during her days in Vancouver, mocks her attempts to make her marriage successful, and haunts her new career. In these stories of Rose and Flo, Alice Munro explores the universal story of growing up-Rose’s struggle to accept herself tells the story of our lives.
31. Carried Away
An array of short fiction, selected by the author and spanning the full range of her career, encompasses seventeen stories, drawn from such collections as The Beggar Maid, The Moons of Jupiter, and Runaway.
33. No Love Lost
Alice Munro is universally acknowledged as the finest short fiction writer in English. Bringing together ten incomparable stories from six different collections, No Love Lost confirms her pre-eminent status. Focusing on the many paths of falling in love, each of these stories of ordinary people reveals new truths about people as real – and as extraordinary – as ourselves. In selecting this unique gathering of stories, Jane Urquhart noted the brilliance of Munro’s fiction, suggesting that Munro’s genius guides us “through love’s labyrinth, insisting all the while that we keep our eyes wide open to its complicated foliage, its shadows, its piercing blasts of light.” Contents: Bardon Bus (from The Moons of Jupiter) Carried Away (from Open Secrets) Mischief (from Who Do You Think You Are?) The Love of a Good Woman (from The Love of a Good Woman) Simon’s Luck (from Who Do You Think You Are?), Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (from Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage) The Bear Came Over the Mountain (from Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage) The Albanian Virgin (from Open Secrets) Meneseteung (from Friend of My Youth) The Children Stay (from The Love of a Good Woman)
34. Lives of Girls and Women
A poignant portrayal of a young girl’s youth in a Canadian town and her awakening to womanhood in the 1940s follows Del Jordan as she explores the dark and bright sides of womanhood and records the frustrations, joys, triumphs, and trials of small-town life. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
35. The Love Of A Good Woman : Stories
A collection of eight stories explores such themes as the complexities of love, the unexpected implications of passion, and the strange, frequently whimsical desires of the human heart
36. The Beggar Maid
Originally published as: Who do you think you are? 1978.
Last updated on Saturday, September 10, 2022