The Love of a Good Womanby Alice Munro
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013
In eight new stories, a master of the form extends and magnifies her great themesthe vagaries of love, the passion that leads down unexpected paths, the chaos hovering just under the surface of things, and the strange, often comical desires of the human heart.
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Each story is a maze of a woman¿s imperfect relationships: wife, friend, parent, child, in-law, grandparent, care-taker. They all point to Munro¿s definition of what it means to be female: a survivor.
Vivid settings and people over generations provide the satisfying click of recognition, but occasionally the click is a peal of revelation. In ¿Rich as Stink¿, how does an eleven-year old girl navigate complicated family relationships that come out of divorce? Step-moms, mom¿s boyfriend, mom¿s boyfriend¿s wife? Is she sullen, rebellious, obnoxious, withdrawn? Karin becomes a very careful observer of the nuances of adult behavior. She uses humor to deflect, distract, and engage the adults in her life, desperately hoping to maintain the ones she values and to hide the harm they have done. Karin is her mother¿s protector, in the end sacrificing herself to save her mom. After the final disappointment, young girls learn not to depend on anyone else. Even if you're not a fan of short stories, Munro is worth it.
What can I say? Every story of Munro's is a delectable morsel, and this collection is no exception. Half of me wants to devour the stories; the other half knows that I must make them last. Munro's relationships are our reslationships. Her stories are our stories; her characters are us.