In Alice Munros superb new collection, we find stories about women of all ages and circumstances, their lives made palpable by the subtlety and empathy of this incomparable writer.
The runaway of the title story is a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband. In "Passion," a country girl emerging into the larger world via a job in a resort hotel discovers in a single moment of stunning insight the limits and lies of that mysterious emotion. Three stories are about a woman named Julietin the first, she escapes from teaching at a girls school into a wild and irresistible love match; in the second she returns with her child to the home of her parents, whose life and marriage she finally begins to examine; and in the last, her child, caught, she mistakenly thinks, in the grip of a religious cult, vanishes into an unexplained and profound silence. In the final story, "Powers," a young woman with the ability to read the future sets off a chain of events that involves her husband-to-be and a friend in a lifelong pursuit of what such a gift really means, and who really has it.
Throughout this compelling collection, Alice Munros understanding of the people about whom she writes makes them as vivid as our own neighbors. Here are the infinite betrayals and surprises of lovebetween men and women, between friends, between parents and childrenthat are the stuff of all our lives. It is Alice Munros special gift to make these stories as vivid and real as our own.
This is Munro's 12th book, following Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001). It contains eight short stories (several of which have appeared elsewhere) that confront the facts of aging, changing, remembering, regretting and, of course, one's own mortality. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
More - Francine Prose
Dazzling...What’s astonishing about Munro’s work is how simultaneously unsparing and forgiving it is, how willing she is to say things no one else will admit out loud. Munro hasn’t mellowed with maturity. She only grows sharper with time.
Elle Magazine Reader’s Prize
A sensitive and deeply insightful writer, Munro renders hauntingly realistic characters with an unflinching eye.
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Another carefully calibrated collection about [Munro’s] favorite themes unfaithful women, fraying marriages, long-standing deceptions....Simply breathtaking.
Quill & Quire
[Runaway is] quintessential Munro at top form...Throughout the work Munro captures the defining human struggle to make sense of a capricious or shapeless reality, to reach 'the discovery that leaves everything whole.'
The great Alice Munro proves again why short-story writers bow down to her.
Nothing is new in Munro's latest collection, which is to say that the author continues to perfect her virtuosic formula in these eight short stories, several of which previously appeared in the New Yorker.
Munro's new story collection will delight fans and convert those who have never before read her work. Her spare style belies the psychological depth of the stories, which feature characters running away from someone or something (often representative of the past) or telling a lie by commission or omission (another form of running away).
Booklist - Brad Hooper
Starred Review. ...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....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.
Retrospect and resolution, neither fully comprehended nor ultimately satisfying such are the territories the masterful Munro explores in her tenth collection.....In a word magnificent.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by liz waste This book I was excited to read at first because it was rated the book of the year. Once I read it, I instantly lost respect for the book of the year award - either that, or that year no good books came out. It was a waste of my time and of a tree.
Rated of 5
An absolutely beautiful collection of art. Written with such truth that it sends shivers down your spine. Runaway is a must read.
Alice Munro was born in 1931 in Wingham, a small town in southwestern Ontario,
to a family of small farmers. She received a scholarship to the University of
Western Ontario, but left before graduating in order to marry another student,
James Munro. The Munros raised three daughters and for several years ran a
bookshop in Victoria; they eventually divorced and Alice Munro married Gerald
Fremlin, a geographer. The Fremlins divide their time between Clinton,
Ontario--not far from Munro's hometown of Wingham--and Comox, British Columbia.
She is the three-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, Canada's
highest; the Lannan Literary Award; and the W. H. Smith Award, given to Open
Secrets as the best book published in the United Kingdom in 1995. 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.
In her interview at BookBrowse, Munro says, "I seem to turn out...
From a chance encounter between two childhood friends to the memories of a newly widowed man to a family grappling with the sale of their ancestral land, Trevor examines with grace and skill the tenuous bonds of our relationships, the strengths that hold us together, and the truths that threaten to separate us.
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